In the wake of reports suggesting that the Botswana Football Association’s National Executive Committee (NEC) is plotting to manipulate the demise of the current National Women’s Football Committee, this publication has established that the BFA President, Tebogo Sebego has been singled out as the main orchestrator of the alleged plot.
Sources have informed Gazette Sport that Sebego and First Division South Chairman Tariq Babitseng organized a workshop with members of various regions to elect a new executive committee of the women’s football committee without consulting them. The source stated that it was in fact Sebego and Babitseng, not the NEC, who planned the workshop in which they believe is a bid to influence the outcome of the July 26 BFA General Assembly’s elections.
The upcoming General Assembly will determine numerous positions including the Vice President Administration, the Vice President Finance and Marketing Research as well as two additional member positions.
“This is not the first time the president has tried to dismantle the committee. He wants his own people to acquire positions in the NEC during the next General Assembly. Everybody knows that he is privately and sometimes publicly endorsing Tariq Babitseng because Babitseng did likewise during Sebego’s campaign two years ago, Sebego is returning the favour. The Women’s Football Committee should run their own affairs without any interference. A letter was written to the Disciplinary Committee notifying them of Sebego’s actions,” the source stated.
“They did not consult the women’s committee before that workshop. They should have talked to the committee as per the constitution. He fears that the women’s committee could vote against his desired candidates. Their aim is to see Susan Montsho as one of the additional members ahead of the likes of Patrick Zibochwa, Moruakgomo Otukile, Senki Sesinyi and Olaotse Mmualebe,” the source added.
Another source has criticized Sebego for what he perceives as lack of support for women’s football, “Sebego has avoided meeting the women’s committee for the past two years, and every time they try to reach him he refers them elsewhere. The last time he met them the women’s committee was in 2012 when he was campaigning. He promised to give women’s football freedom to run their own affairs but he has not lived up to his promises.”
This reporter understands that on May 26 the National Women’s Committee held a meeting in which they elected to nominate Senki Sesinyi as their candidate for one of the additional member positions. The committee refused to be drawn into the controversy by stating that they have entrusted Sesinyi to represent the interests of women’s football.
When reached for comment the BFA President refuted claims of plotting against the women’s committee. He confirmed that a workshop took place on June 26 but the purpose of the meeting was to ensure that all regions have a say in the National Women’s Football Committee, he noted that they felt the existing committee is restricted to Gaborone operations while other regions feel left out.
“We decided to call all the women’s football representatives from all the regions for them to brainstorm how they want to elect their committee as well as how they want to operate. The existing committee’s operations were geographically restricted to one area and other regions need to be involved. Without the involvement of other regions it would not be ideal to recognize the committee as a national body. Other regions should be well represented. There is a lot of confusion in this matter, we are not trying to take over, we are only interested in making sure that all regions have representatives in the overall National Women’s Committee,” Sebego explained.
On reports of avoiding the committee for the past 2 years
“It is a lie, the constitution was amended in April last year, it is surprising that people suggest that this has been going on for the past two years. In the past the NEC elected the women’s committee, now they have more freedom to elect their own structure. As a standing committee their two year term has elapsed so a new committee has to be selected to favour all regions. Representatives from Tsabong, Palapye and Francistown and other areas have stated that they feel left out of the national committee, that is what they said during the meeting, we stepped in to help them,” continued Sebego.
On his reported endorsement of Babitseng
“People should understand that I am not running for elections, I have explained that I want the right people to be elected. I want to confirm that whoever is elected will have my full support. All candidates vying for different positions are capable individuals, we need people who are full of energy and ready to lead and comply with the vision I have for local football, whoever fits the bill will have my full backing,” the BFA President concluded.