Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) Executive Committee have served Shihan Mpho Bakwadi with suspension letters written by the Secretary General and the vice president administration accusing him of tarnishing BOKA’s image in the media. A few weeks ago Bakwadi publicly declared his interest to run for the BOKA presidency (with the elections set for April).
This publication has seen 2 letters that were written to Shin Bakwadi and In the first suspension letter that he received from the secretary general Phineas Motseolapile dated 15th February 2021, titled “Investigation into media report-yourself” stated that the committee has moved to suspend him for defaming, tainting and derogatory statements he allegedly made against BOKA which includes maladministration by the current executive committee, unfairness in national team selection and harassment of athletes by national team coaches.
The letter claims that Shihan Bakwadi has violated article 7.5 in BOKA constitution which talks about seeking redress and/or dispute resolution within the BOKA structure hence charged with gross misconduct. According to the letter Shihan Bakwadi was barred from all Botswana Karate Association activities with immediate effect and was told to cooperate with investigators whenever he is called to answer for his deeds. He was also told to direct his queries regarding the suspension to the BOKA President Tshepo Bathai.
Shihan Bakwadi received another letter from the BOKA Vice President administration Samuel Dire dated 08th March 2021 titled “Enquires into Media Allegations by-Yourself” notifying him that the investigations of his case will be led by Dire. He was given a deadline to confirm or deny the allegations that he is supposed to have said in the media by the 12th of March.
In an interview with Gazette Sport recently, Shihan Bakwadi who is also a chief instructor of Botswana Hayashi Ha said he is utterly shocked by the suspension letters which he believes were fabricated in order to intimidate his desires to stand for the BOKA Presidency. “I have publicly announced my interest to contest for the BOKA presidency before I could officially notify the association leadership which I don’t find it wrong because I was not insulting or tarnishing anyone’s name. what I am being accused of regarding my comments is not true, I have never said any of what they mentioned on the suspension letters, I only mentioned issues that I am going to address and focus on that are at the best interest of the association once I am voted into office” he said.
He further stated that he was also surprised when he tried to address his queries with the association President Bathai as he was told to so in the second letter but only to learn that Bathai knew nothing about his suspension.
“Before I could respond to all those letters, I made efforts to seek clarity from Bathai and he boldly told me that he never wrote or approved any suspension letters in his capacity as the BOKA president or as Tshepo Bathai. I wondered how the executive committee members can, come to such decisions without the knowledge of the president. I wrote them a letter in response to allegations laid against me and they did not respond to me which I believe gives me the right to seek advice and intervention from other top offices within sports,” Shihan Bakwadi added.
When reached for comment Bathai said he is not aware of any suspension of Shihan Bakwadi from Botswana Karate association. “I am not aware of all these allegations and I don’t know anything about Bakwadi’s suspension, I don’t know where this rumour emanates from,” he said.
However, this is contrary to the letters that this publication has seen. It is alleged that the Chief instructor of Shukokai Soccer Moruakgomo is also suspended for misconduct.