HUKUNTSI: The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has recently distanced itself from allegations that it has been trying to block certain candidates from contesting the regional football association elections. According to reports, the motive behind this strategy is that certain individuals are the opponents of the current regime which is under the leadership of Maclean Letshwiti.
The association through its Chief Executive Officer, Mfolo Mfolo issued a press statement to various media houses refuting allegations that the BFA National Executive Committee is involved in vetting and rigging tactics targeting certain individuals. It is alleged that the targets were Olson Mantle, Themba Senyemba and Isaac Mabuta.
Mantle and Mabuta were said to be seeking the chairmanship of Francistown and Hukuntsi Regional Football Association respectively. Another target was the Chobe Regional Football Association Secretary, Senyemba who wanted to retain his position and he had already become the casualty of this plan after being slapped with a suspension letter for failing to account for the money that was deposited into his personal bank account on 27 October 2017.
However, the BFA’s alleged plan suffered a major blow this past Thursday in Hukuntsi during election of new committee of Hukuntsi Regional Football Association (HRFA) when the incumbent chairperson Ketlogetswe Mokgolele lost the chairmanship to Olson Mantle. Out of 16 delegates who graced the election only two voted embattled Mokgolele.
Though Mokgolele who is the supporter of the current BFA regime was allowed to partake in elections, Gazette Sport can confirm that he was ineligible to stand for elections since his candidacy was challenged by Mantle in a letter dated 17 May 2018 addressed to BFA.
Mantle complained that Mokgolele was nominated by Siamisang Lekoko who does not hold a position of chairperson or secretary in any local team and therefore his candidacy was invalid as per requirement of BFA nomination form. Meanwhile, the BFA failed to respond to Mantle’s appeal until the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held last Thursday. Worse still, Lekoko wrote to BFA National Elections Board in a letter dated 19 May 2018 confirming that he had nominated Ketlogetswe Mokgolele though he (Lekoko) does not hold any managerial position of chairperson in any local football clubs.
Mantle is well known for his support for former BFA president Tebogo Sebego. Mantle’s ascent to the highest office in the regional football body is not a done deal because he is going to work with the enemy. Therefore things can become problematic as the officials at the top of BFA structures might try to block his vision for HRFA.
Another burning issue was the candidacy of Poloko Baumake and Kenaleone Kelebale. The two candidates were seeking a vote in the positions of additional member and treasury respectively but they did not apply.
However, it emerged during announcement of candidates that they will be contesting the election. The issue rubbed the chairperson of Lokgwebe United Football Club, Kagiso Kgalemang the wrong way who wanted to know how Baumake and Kelebale can contest while they did not apply. However, the crestfallen Mokgolele was left with no choice but to spill the beans.
He revealed to angry delegates that Baumake was picked by BFA officials in Gaborone after the closing date of applications of nomination. He said his input was to assure the BFA Regional Cordinator, Phutego Setete that Baumake is an active person as he is currently holding the position of the chairperson of League Committee, the work that he does diligently.
For Kelebale who was absent during elections, Mokgolele explained that no one applied for nomination in the office of treasury and National Executive Committee (NEC) took a decision to search for a candidate.
He informed delegates that Kelebale is armed with undisclosed accounting qualification and the NEC’s decision was influenced by the fact that any person holding the position of a treasurer in BFA should have registered with Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) as per requirement of Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC). Still the delegates were not convinced and further forced Mokgolele to explain why NEC did not search for such a person locally and he said NEC are the right people to answer that question.
According to the memo that this publication has seen dated 1 March 2018 addressed to regional football associations by CEO’s office, BFA through NEC stated that it has adopted a uniform format for all members desiring to serve in the BFA structures and they will be required to complete the form and submit it to the Secretary General (copy to the Regional Secretary) not later than the 13 April 2018.
The Secretary General shall communicate to all structures the names of all those who have met the above requirements by the 30 April 2018. Failure to abide by the above shall render any aspirant ineligible to stand for position within any BFA structure’ reads the memo. Baumake also revealed to Gazette Sport in an interview that he did not fill any form from BFA and had not been approached by any BFA official to contest any position.
“Honestly, I do not even know who nominated my name, who signed for me and who seconded it for me as the procedure demands,” he said.
As a result, the delegates struck out Baumake from the nominees list and allowed Kelebale to be elected unopposed to be the treasurer of HRFA. They unanimously agreed that if BFA upper structures are disobeying the constitution, they should not do likewise.
However, the BFA mouthpiece was quoted in the latest edition of Sunday Standard denying allegations of BFA in any vote rigging attempts, adding that all submitted names were put before the electoral committee to check for compliance and those that complied were allow ton participate in elections. Attempts to reach Kelebale were unsuccessful as the subject’s mobile phone rang unanswered.