“I AM NOT A THIEF ” – Kitso Kemoeng defends himself
Whilst I have no intention to discuss my industrial relations matter with the BFA in the media, I find it important to react to non-factual reports about my time with the BFA, most notably media reports regarding mismanagement of funds, which are further from the truth. I have never been accused of mismanaging any funds; neither have I ever received any funds for the Orapa C-Licence Course. I therefore could not have mismanaged any. I find it prudent to set this record straight lest I am portrayed as a thief or as somebody who is incapable of being relied on. As stated earlier, I have no intentions, at least for now (and I wish forever), to discuss the details of my industrial relations matter with the BFA; never mind the fact that the BFA has already termed our parting ‘amicable’ (of course I have had to re-confirm what the term ‘amicable’ means, just in case my vocabulary has received some form of haemorrhage! I’ m glad it hasn’t).
As a matter of fact, I do not steal. I have no record of funds embezzlement. In fact, I am trying hard to remember any incident where I was accused of stealing. This of course is outside the isolated incidences of pinching sugar on a teaspoon-tip as a youngster, sucking a drop or two of Gold-Cross condensed milk or jumping over the neighbours’ fence in the dark to pick a peach or two from their tree, in the company of other mischievous young boys; an exercise that, as far as I am concerned, was part of growing up at those infancy stages.
I suppose this is what most of the (smart) young boys of our times would go through as part of growing. At primary school, I would on some occasions be given the responsibility of manning the gates during internal choir competitions. Never did I pinch a cent. I detested stealing. I still do. Perhaps that is why I will die poor! I was, and still am afraid of jail. The closest I came closer to jail was when, as a youngster starting school at St. Gabriel’s School in Serowe, we would go and watch prisoners in the nearby Prison (old one) play football.
We admired the skills of this other prisoner christened ‘Hohoho’ for his distorted speech due to his deformed lips. Legend had it that his lips were fine until he stole and feasted on some people’s small stock in the nearby Metsemasweu River. It was suggested that the lips were permanently pushed to one side when, after a feast, he attempted to wipe off the oil (a itshutlha mahura) on his lips only for the lips to bend to one side for good. This was a further deterrent on some of us.
In the late 70s, playing for this non-league team in Lobatse, we would engage in some friendly games with the Lobatse Prisons team; then featuring the late Ramagwinya ‘Ezi’ Bogatsu, a dribbler par excellence, otherwise known as ‘Jomo’. Whenever we played against them, the tripartite of Rhido Thekiso, Simon Moalosi and myself were jointly assigned to mark this ball artist. Two were to prevent him from receiving the ball. Where he did, the third one was to hold him back (ka matsogo) as the other two recover. Unfortunately, at the end of every match against Prisons, at least two of us would spot lumps on our foreheads; mostly incurred when the ball artist had sent us wrong signals about his next move.
While I admired the player, the fact that he was in prison was a deterrent as, to me, his talents were best used at Gunners where he played when not in prison. The message here was that if I had any talents, they were better off utilised elsewhere and not in prison. So, I was never tempted to steal, or to mismanage anybody’s funds.
I spent 21 years with the Botswana National Sports Council (now Commission); 9 of which were spent as CEO. In all those years, the BNSC produced clean audits with no ‘mismanagement’ of funds. At the BFA, I presided over only one financial audit exercise, for which responsibility and accountability seemed to lie elsewhere; never mind the fact that I arrived three months into the year. Notwithstanding, the audit report was also clean.