Trouble is brewing at the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) ahead of their elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for November this year.
Fresh information reaching BG Sport indicates that the current BISA leadership is now more divided than ever. A litany of allegations coming out of the multi sports code body includes maladministration and unprofessionalism and embezzlement.
Sources close to the matter this week said the BISA family are now fed up with watching things go astray and they are now calling for change. Sources have since revealed names of the Executive Committee who are no longer serving the interests of the association but rather personal gain.
The said officials (names known to BG Sport) are accused of living beyond their means and seen splashing money on lavish cars using proceeds from BISA activities. Reliable sources that prefer anonymity said some individuals in the executive are already under the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) radar.
Meanwhile the committee is said to be misusing funds. “They have failed to account for the 2014-2016 P1.3 000 000 sponsorship from Kgalagadi Breweries Limited who have sponsored development activities. Even today we are failing to get a clear report from them,” a source said this week. Concerned sources further lamented that it was difficult to get through to the BISA leadership. Every time affiliates demand answers there are always dire consequences. These guys are dangerous but clearly our association is rotten,” the source continued.
“BISA is an affiliate of the International School Sport Federation, however a concern was raised that the association is currently not benefiting from the international federation,” a source said.
“We sent an athletics team there to the International federation in 2014 and there was no feed back. Botswana is paying huge subscription fees to the federation and our leadership uses thousands of pula’s when attending Annual general meetings, yet there are no results,” said a concerned party.
On the other hand, BISA president Joshua Gaotlhobogwe was not shaken by the allegations making rounds. “We are going for elections and some people are busy pushing their own agendas by trying to tarnish the existing committee, we are a well administered association,” said the calm and collected Gaotlhobogwe.
Quizzed on whether he was aware of the division within his association resulting from alleged funds misuse, the president maintained that BISA is one solid team. “People are ignorant, we have just submitted our audited files to Price Water House Coopers, we have always shared that the sponsorship from Coca Cola is not monetary,” he explained.
Gaotlhobogwe went on to explain that the Ministry of Education is fully behind them. “If the ministry did not have full confidence on us, it would not continue pouring thousands of pula’s at BISA,” he said.
Meanwhile BG Sport has learnt of an existing lobby lists allegedly led by different influential individuals within the association. One of the parties is against the current BISA Executive while the other is said to be the most unwanted by masses but wants to claim power.
The Botswana national boxing team is currently on camp in preparation for the All Africa championship starting from 25th May until 6th June in the DR Congo. The team is expected to do well among the 16 African nations that will be competing at the continental showpiece. Botswana secured 4th position in the last championships. There are currently nine athletes in camp at the national stadium.
The athletes include Otukile Mahomed (52kg), George Molwantwa (56kg), Tefo Maitewa (56), Molalapata (60kg), Moabi Ngaka (60kg), Kabo Seitshiro (64kg), Boifang Kenaope (64kg), Mmusi Tswiige (69kg) and African games silver medallist Zibane Chikanda.
Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) spokesperson Kenny Maragana said this week that some elite athletes like Atang Mosenke and Kagiso Bagwasi could not make it to camp. Bagwasi suffered a knife attack while Mosenke was injured during the recent interclub tournament held at SSKB.
“The final team will be revealed later, as all athletes on camp will not make it. The final number of athletes heading for DRC will be revealed after training camp,” Maragana said.
“We will consider the performance of athletes on camp and our budget before we decide who makes it in the team”. Nevertheless, Maragana said for the first time they failed to honour the crucial Zone 4 games that were held in Angola late last year even though they are defending champions.
“Even though we missed out on Zone 4 championships we came with a contingency plan where we pitted our best athletes against one another in preparation for the African championship.”
Maragana said they have not set a medal target, as they are yet to choose the final team. “We expect fierce competition during the games,” he said.
The dominant forces in the African showpiece remain North African states like Algeria, Morocco and Egypt. The team is under the tutelage of Tsholofelo boxing coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza.
Emmanuel Galeboe and Junior Moeti will be assisting Luza while Gibson Rauwe is the team manager. The team leaves for DRC on 25th May and returns on 6th June.
The political animosity and instability that have recently bedeviled the local track and field governing body is expected to come to an end following the reshuffling of the BAA executive committee on Saturday.
The local track and field governing body has a mammoth task ahead as the corporate sector lost confidence in the association following well-publicized infighting. The association will have to redefine its development structures, revamp school of excellence programme and improve relationship with schools’ sports associations.
“I do not want to see athletes registering for competitions individually. I want to make sure clubs exist in their true nature and have more athletes”, said Mooketsi. The BAA president said he wants to restore sanity at the association, which has never had a president who completed his term since 2010 as affiliates tabled motions of no confidence on their executive committees.
Thari blamed the infighting at BAA on leaders from affiliates who want to be rewarded for voting in certain people. But he declined to elaborate. Thari possesses vast experience in sport leadership, which goes back to the 80s, having served as secretary general of the then south central regional football association.
He played part in the formation of African Universities Sport Federation (FASO), also a founding member of Lefika club, and participated in formation of the premier league, which is now called Botswana Tertiary Schools Sports Association. Thari lamented that BAA affiliates exist as members but athletes suffer as these clubs are without active leadership, which sometimes forces athletes to move from one club to another. The defiant Thari believes that it is time to restructure athletics and increase number of regions.
“Athletes come and go but clubs remain. Secondly there is need to extend regions to spread athletics across the country”, explained BAA president. Thari shied away from relating his relationship with his predecessor. “I cannot say we have a good relationship or we do not”, said Thari.
The new administration was ushered into office by affiliates on Saturday in Gaborone. The association had to call a special general assembly 21 days after Moses Bantsi, Legojane, Glody Dube and Ronald Masalila resigned. The outgoing president Bantsi and Thari have overthrown one another since 2010. Bantsi and other executive committee members resigned after the affiliates tabled a motion of no confidence on their Secretary General Kebaitse Legojane.
Thari, who is expected to lead BAA to the next elective AGM in 2019, must act fast since local competitions must continue as well as preparations for the 2017 Bahamas relays and world champions in London. The newly elected president claimed that his administration has hit the road running with the hosting of track & field event on Saturday at Francistown Sports Complex at 1400hrs.
This event is organised as part of the BAA planned calendar of events and will be used by national team coaches to select the team that will compete at the World Championships in August. The newly elected committee is made up of known administrators in BAA circles.
Thari Mooketsi from Lefika Athletics Club was unopposed for the top position; the controversial Kenneth Kikwe from Orapa Athletics Club was also unopposed for the position of vice president technical. Raymond Phale of Francistown Athletics Club defeated Kelebogile Mogapi from Serowe Athletics Club by 21-2 votes for the position of Secretary General. BAA affiliates elected Ipolokeng Ramatshaba of Mmadinare Athletics Club who had to battle it out with Lulu Basinyi of Palapye Athletics Club for the position of publicity secretary. Ramatshaba won by 19 votes against 4.
A dark cloud continues to hover over women’s football league. The league is currently halted and details are still hazy as to who accounts for this atrocity.
In fact the current Botswana Football Association (BFA) president Mclean Letshwiti used the advancement of women football and development structures as part of his campaign. Moreover, the women’s league continues to be shrouded in controversies while both the BFA and the Women National Executive Committee watch indifferently.
A few years ago when the women league was introduced, many applauded the initiative as it was seen as a positive move towards sports development that will enable active women participation in football.However, all efforts directed towards ensuring that women football is functional seem to be hitting a snag. The situation is worrisome and does not show any signs of improvement in future. Early this year, the women super league suffered a blow when the league was called to an abrupt stop due towhat was said to be financial constraints weighing heavily on the league. Women league Vice Chairperson Otukile Moruakgomo, says four teams have written to say that they cannot continue with the league due to insufficient funds.
The committee then summoned all other participating teams and realised that the situation was affecting all teams. It was then resolved that the league be suspended indefinitely. The teams are said to have requested at the time to engage the Women National Executive Committee (NEC) on the matter but to date the issue is still pending.
On behalf of BFA, Tumo Mpatane the Association’s spokesperson said the women league representatives have failed to provide them with a full report as to why the league is currently not running. “We do not have a full understanding of what is happening, we have asked for a report from the chairperson of the women’s league,” Mpatane said.
When brought to speed about reports that the league was financially constrained, Mpatane explained that the women league was running without a sponsor and did not receive any grant from FIFA either. He noted that women football league structures did not conform to those of FIFA and thus, they are not able to receive grants from the international football governing body.
Nevertheless, he has assured that they are working around the clock to ensure that women football structures conform to FIFA’s rules and regulations. He also promised that the intention is to have the league running again next season. Additionally, the matter has hit hard on local teams and some of them have now begun pointing fingers while others remain hopeless.
The situation has seen players abstain from the game for quite some time now while others are still in nail biting situations to try and survive the hard times. Should this matter remain unattended, the women national team will also be affected in the process. Efforts to communicate with the Women NEC all proved futile before going to print.
The Mascom Top 8 Cup, ‘Tse Di Tona’ knockout tournament has undoubtedly brought a touch of both glitz and glamour to local top-flight football.
The thrill and spills witnessed during the Mascom Top 8 final clash between Jwaneng Galaxy and Orapa United over the weekend was the sort of high stakes football game local supporters have been yearning for. Nevertheless there have been doubts on whether the mobile phone service producer will return as Top 8 sponsors following the conclusion of their contract with the Botswana Football Association.
Nevertheless, the Saturday game may definitely keep the sponsors on board as Francistown Sports Complex was filled with many supporters who came to witness history as Jwaneng Galaxy, who came into the game as underdogs, humiliated the defending Champions Orapa United to bag the P1.2 Million prize money.
It is evident how the popularity of the tournament has steadily grown and in the process, has become an integral part of the football community. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if the Cup tournament shall continue to be the apple pie of many local football enthusiasts.
The contract between Botswana Premier League (BPL) and the title sponsors of the tournament, Mascom, comes to an end this year. Mascom has been sponsoring the tournament since 2011. It remains a mystery whether Mascom will want to renew their contract or not, given the negativity that has surrounded local football.
However, BPL Acting CEO, Thabo Ntshinogang said in an interview this week that they have expressed interest of continuing the partnership through a formal letter. He explained that their contract will elapse shortly after the Mascom Top 8 awards to be hosted sometime in May or June. Ntshinogang noted that for the past six years, they have been enjoying a cordial working relationship with Mascom. “The tournament helped our local teams participate internationally which also assisted our senior national team perform better,” he said.
He said it is through the Mascom Top 8 tournament that local players find the opportunity to showcase their talents outside the premier league. Ntshinogang said they are ready to fasten their belts and look for other alternatives in order to keep the tournament alive, should Mascom decide otherwise. On the other hand, Mascom remained cagey about the sponsorship matter, saying that they are yet to review the past season of the tournament and will share the evaluation with partners, Botswana Premier League.
South African television sports channel Super Sport is expected to cover this year’s Gem Diamonds Kalahari Cycle challenge scheduled for the 9th – 11th June 2017.
The action packed mountain bike event has grown in leaps and bounds and coverage from an international sports channel is expected to not only promote cycling in Botswana but also paint the country as a cycling tourism destination.
Launching the event at Avani Gaborone Hot & Casino in Gaborone earlier this week, the race director Seamus O’Neill said they went the extra mile to empower locals by trying to increase their participation in one of the biggest and best mountain bike riding events in Botswana.
O’Neil said the aim is to build a base of local riders who will be able to compete confidently in the southern African cycling scenes. The challenge is made up of the 60km and the 70, 80 and 90km races. O’ Neil added that during the three-day race, the riders will be expected to manoeuvre through sandy, stony and bushy areas, the race will begin from Lion Park Resort, head through Sentlane farms and down the Mokolodi tarmac road. Areas which will be affected by the race include Mogobane, Mmankgodi and Lekgolobotlo Villages.
On the last day of the race, riders will follow a fast-flowing route home through the Aloe single track back to the Lion Park, which will mark the end of the challenge. Categories expected on the day include men aged 19 – 29, Sub-Vets from 30 – 39, Veterans 40 – 49, and masters aged 50+. There will also be mixed women categories.
Meanwhile local cyclists will get a 50 percent entry fee discount of the standard rate prize. Popularly known as a sport of mountain biking and considered one of the toughest races in Africa, the standard rate for registration is P6 000 for individuals and P10 000 for teams. Meaning participating local riders will be paying P4 000 per person and P8 000 for pairs.
The standard entry fee covers entry into the race, a four-man tent (team) or two-man tent (Solo) with mattress and bedding (sheets, pillow & blankets). It also includes Friday lunch & dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch & dinner and Sunday breakfast at overnight campsite and a goodie bag & event t-shirt, plus other extras.
The registration for all participating cyclists will be at Avani Gaborone Hotel on Thursday 8th June 2017 from 14h00 until 19h00. Race Briefing from 19:00 and late Registration from 20h00 - 21h00. Registration is now open at www.kalaharichallenge.com and will close on the 5th of May. Stanbic Bank and Gem Diamonds are the major sponsors of the event while other sponsors include Kgalagadi Breweries, Scania Botswana, Avani Gaborone Resort &Casino, Medswana, Bokomo Botswana and GMR freights.
The dissolved Botswana Motosport (BMS) Committee headed by Simon Modisaemang is pushing back after they were allegedly removed from office without any explanation.
The troubled BMS committee found themselves divided among both the Executive committee and affiliates last year as two centres of power within the association collided during an explosive Special General Meeting (SGM) last year. The heated meeting saw several established BMS clubs calling for a motion of no confidence against Modisaemang and his committee.
The SGM deadlock between BMS affiliates prompted the Botswana National Sports Commission (BMS) to intervene by quickly dissolving the old committee and setting up an interim body headed by John Carr Hartley.
In an interview this week, Modisaeman confirmed that he had recently served the BNSC with a letter asking the commission to clarify why his committee has been dissolved. “We were never given an audience as to why we have been dissolved. I have long told the BNSC that the constitution did not allow me to fully control my committee,” Modisaemang said.
Modisaemang who is Botswana’s FIA liaison officer said he was in frequent contact with the BNSC and provided all the details regarding problems at the BMS. The former BMS president said he kept the BNSC updated eve when the former BMS vice president and treasurer did not file receipts for auditing purposes.
Modisaeman says that three member affiliates called for a Special General Meeting after the initial Annual General Meeting was cancelled. “Following the failed SGM, I suggested that club affiliates be co-opted to form and work on a new constitution.
“This is before we were dissolved by the BNSC. Nevertheless, we have not received any form of writing that we have been dissolved by the BNSC.” Modisaemang said he has since written a letter through his attorney seeking clarity from the BNSC. “I do not recognise the new committee. Nevertheless, I will not let the sport suffer as they continue with their business.”
In an interview this week, the BNSC chairperson Solly Reikeletseng said he has received the copy of letter from the former BMS president’s lawyers. “The matter has now gone to the law. I do not know of any response from the BNSC,” he said.
Reikeletseng said they have given the interim committee time to prepare for their next Annual General Meeting. The chairman added that there are important motosport events like the Toyota 1000 km Desert race coming up.
The Mayor of Francistown city, Sylvia Muzila together with her councillors have expressed shock and frustration that they were left out in the naming of the Francistown stadium while they were still waiting to be given the go-ahead to consult with their people.
President Ian Khama this week named the newly-opened facility the Francistown Sports Complex, contrary to the understanding of the city’s leadership on the processes set to source a name.
A fortnight ago, Muzila told BG Sport in an interview that they were putting systems in place to later engage the youth in suggesting suitable names for the facility. She had said then that they were awaiting the green light from the sports ministry to start the process. This week however, Muzila was still in the dark about the latest development when asked how she and the council arrived at the use of Francistown Sports Complex as the facility’s name. “To tell you the truth I am shocked about the name because as it is right now I am waiting for Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture (MYSC) to give us a go-ahead to consult residents in and around Francistown to come up with the name.
I am not aware that it has already been named,” she said. She however conceded that the name was still “a good name” and that she would accept it. Tatitown ward councillor Gaethusi Ramolotsana – in whose area the stadium is located - said that he also learnt about the name of the stadium through the press despite knowing that the naming of the stadium would be done through consultations with the residents in the area. “I think it is high time icons in Botswana started getting recognition, and I believe the people would have come with a better name,” he said.
Itekeng ward councillor Lesego Kwambala also said he was shocked by the naming of the stadium while they were preparing to consult. Kwambala said that for a facility like the stadium, it needed people of the area to be involved so that they would feel they have also played a role as well. Another councillor, Shadreck Nyeku of Philip Matante East said he could not accept the name as the authorities did not consult the people. “We were waiting for the completion of the stadium with the knowledge that we would then consult people on the naming of the facility,” he said.
In an interview, sports minister Thapelo Olopeng said that in the naming of the facility, he used social media networks like Facebook to consult people. He said that after the stadium was handed over on August 6, he then posted on Facebook that people should suggest names for the stadium. He said different names were posted and he ultimately had to make a decision with the help of other officials. “The Francistown stadium is a public structure not owned by any individual but a lot of suggested names made it like the facility belongs to a particular group of people, so we chose a name which would be neutral for all Batswana. I hear a lot of people are not happy especially in Francistown but they should understand that we do not want to create a national crisis,” the minister said. The stadium will be officially opened in the last week of November, Olopeng added.
The popular yet polarising form of motorsport known as spinning is making a comeback to the City of Gaborone on September 26 after the event was cancelled under controversial circumstances almost three years ago.
This week the Spin City organisers told members of the press that they have repackaged the adrenalin action-packed event to make it more family friendly and sports like. The raised alarm among security officers with the influx of foreign drivers event has even been repackaged and renamed ‘Road Rally Technique’ instead of just spinning. Known for pulling huge crowds on Saturday afternoons in Gaborone, spinning witnessed phenomenal growth in a short time as even South African competitors were clamouring to attend the shows and compete with locals for bragging rights.
The shows featured powerful and loud rear wheel drive sedans like the popular BMW matchbox known as Gusheshe.Nevertheless, with the growing popularity other negative factors came into play as there were allegations of drivers competing under the influence of alcohol and rowdy fans who got caught in the moment and came too close to the stunt cars in action. However, organisers say things will be a lot different now after roping in other stakeholders like Botswana Motor Sport (BMS), Gaborone City Council (GCC) and the Botswana Police (BPS). So serious are the show organisers that they have brought in a social responsibility officer, environment officer and a group of accredited race marshals for good measure.
The event’s social responsibility officer Thabiso Seobamo said the event organisers had to comply with rules set by the international motor racing federation, FIA. “We have set out to ensure spinning competitors have protection, which includes third party and group cover insurance,” Seobamo said. In addition, Seobamo said the event would be regulated by the BMS under international road rally technique rules.
“We have put safety first. In past events, there were no rules to manage and guide the sport. The BMS now issues licensing for spinning, Karting and accreditation for marshalling. Forms for such can be sent to our office to asses.” Speaking at the same event, the BMS FIA Liaisons Officer and event organiser Joseph Khengere said it was important that they encompassed the traffic laws of the country. He conceded that in the past the events, things were out of control as drivers tended to perform stunts at undesignated places in town.
“This is why we have the GCC and the BPS. To get a permit from the police we have to encompass the laws of the country. Drivers used to spin too close to spectators, this time there will be a 10m barrier to keep them away.” Moreover, Khengere said spectator used to watch the event from the top of truck trailers, which he described as unsafe. He added that there would be a safer sitting arrangement this time. “From now onwards any driver seen to be indulging in an illegal act will have their spinning licence revoked,” he said. In other issues, the organisers assured the event would be more environmental friendly with drivers having designated places to dump their used oil and other refuse after servicing their vehicles.