The Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) requirement that treasurers at National Sports Association (NSAs) should be accredited at Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) has proved rather difficult to meet for some NSAs. The issue proved to be a nagging headache once again during the recently held Botswana Bowling Association (BBA) electoral AGM held in Gaborone.
The man who has been treasurer at BBA for more than 30 years Mervyn Mitchell did not want to be re-elected but instead advised that BBA find a candidate that matches BNSC’s required qualifications. “Perhaps you should go for a Motswana and someone who is BICA accredited like BNSC has instructed,” Mitchell advised. Mitchell is British and felt that it was only right that they follow the expectations of BNSC. However, it soon turned out that BBA is made of a small group, with that, there was no ‘qualified’ candidate for the position. The BBA president Kitso Robert intervened and said they were still waiting for BNSC to explain to them what should be done if there is no qualified person in their midst. It was then resolved that Mitchell be retained.
According to a document titled circular No 35 of 2017 dated the 3rd October 2017, BNSC reminded Sport Associations that by the 31st of December 2017, BICA registered members should occupy positions of treasurer. The document further suggests that BNSC threatened that should affiliates fail to comply, they will suffer consequences.
BNSC explained through the same document that the decision was taken to improve governance and financial management within NSAs. Meanwhile, a closer look at what is actually on the ground currently suggests that NSAs are suffocating. While some NSA’s claim that they have satisfied the needs of BNSC, some are wondering if they will manage to keep up with the pace.
Golf President, Enoch Mushango believes the requirement of a qualified accountant is irrelevant and not really necessary. Mushango noted that BNSC is the one guarding the bulk of the grant and whatever money released from their coffers is usually through requests made by sport codes. “Honestly speaking that was not necessary, BNSC was emotional when taking this decision, they are addressing the symptoms and not the root cause, we do not need to move mountains looking for accountants, what are we auditing that BNSC has paid directly,” Mushango questioned.
The outspoken Golf President went on to throw shade at BNSC, accusing BNSC of not having qualified accountants in their office but expecting them to meet their requests. He added that BNSC should have monitoring mechanisms, saying a BICA accredited treasurer is just a bonus to the team.Tshepo Bathai, President of Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) said that they have met the BNSC requirements, however it was not easy to find the preferred candidate.
They had to look beyond BOKA and it was not easy to find a BICA accredited individual who will be willing to volunteer their services. His biggest worry is that their current treasurer will not be at BOKA till the end of time, meaning another backbreaking headhunt in the near future.
Bathai, however, noted that he understands where BNSC was coming from given allegations of funds misappropriations that has of recent hit sport codes. BNSC could not respond to an inquiry from BG Sport. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Falcon Sedimo was said to be held up in meetings all day this past Tuesday. His mobile phone was also off the whole of Tuesday and Wednesday morning.