Former Botswana Football Association (BFA)’s interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tariq Babitseng has responded to the local mother body over allegations that he has swindled the financial system while at the helm roughly four years ago.
The new BFA regime as led by Mac Lean Letshwiti had written about two letters to Babitseng to retire imprest amounting to P 72362.21. The association requested Babitseng to pay back the money 7 days after receiving the letter. It is reported that Babitseng had his fingers all over the till while on duty with the national team sometimes in July of 2014 at Guinea Bissau. “According to records, you have an outstanding amount of P 72362.21(USD 7257.93) owed to BFA due to unpaid imprest,” BFA letter reads in part.
But when responding, Babitseng who is now the chairman of Lobatse’s Extension Gunners, say he finds BFA‘s demands to be shocking and unwarranted. He is of the view that all records pertaining to the matter are available on BFA files. “This matter was discussed and closed about four years ago. I furnished the association with documents arising from the said trip. You might even recall from your records that an internal reconciliation was undertaken by your then Finance officer whose reconciliation directed that an amount of USD 455.50 was the outstanding difference and the same was then retired to the association coffers,” Babitseng said.
As a parting shot, the football administrator widely seen as Tebogo Sebego (former FA president)’s blue eyed boy, said the association should disassociate itself from the ongoing which hunt exercise which really is the basis of these out-of –time matters. Babitseng said, if the association is aggrieved, it should contact the former Finance officer or BFA past President Tebogo Sebego for further verification. Babitseng however had another related financial case with the association.
The whole money issue started when the Algerian U17 delegation requested for an extra night at Travel Lodge. Their request was granted on condition that they would refund the BFA during the return leg which was played in Algiers in December 2, 2012. Babitseng was chosen as Head of Delegation (HOD). When relating his story in a letter addressed to the BFA vice president finance, management and research, Ngele Ngele, on February 25, 2013, Babitseng said the BFA was never part of the agreement between Travel Lodge and the Algerian federation.
Tariq said Travel Lodge sent a quotation for an extra night together with their banking details to the BFA after the departure of the Algerian U17 team. Their explanation for sending the quotation was because they did not know who to invoice. Notwithstanding the above, Babitseng said in the same letter that he wrote a reminder to the Algerian federation demanding that they settle the bill at Travel Lodge.
In Babitseng’s letter dated 27 November 2012 he said, “This is to inform you of an outstanding bill that was paid by your delegation during their stay in Botswana. This was for the 6th night as the Botswana Federation paid for their 5 days stay according to FIFA & CAF regulations. We request that you give the money to our Head of Delegation Tokyo Modise”.
Algeria settled the account as they gave Tokyo Modise USD 2 734.00 which he tried to give to the BFA accounts department upon return. According to Babitseng, one Eric Makgale directed Modise to the then acting CEO as the matter did not involve the association but Travel Lodge.
The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.
In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.
The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.
According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.
He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”
According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.
The first Mascom Charity Cup spectacular has come and gone. The football event played at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium saw four football clubs playing one-day tourney with various charity centres being beneficiaries of the gate takings.
While the attendance was not at the expected level, it is said that the sponsor has made a killing with close to P500 000 made from voting lines. Football followers were asked to vote for teams of their choice, and top four clubs were eligible to play. A single sms voting line cost P 1.50.
Gaborone United became the most voted team with 62 984 votes followed by Security Systems with 51 027. On the third spot was BDF XI with 48 596 votes while Orapa United came forth with 44 401. Shockingly, Township Rollers did not make it after gathering a total of 30 637 votes, with BR Highlanders ahead of them having seen 44 204 votes to their name.
It is said, however that, the initiative live to expectation as clubs together with the sponsor have managed to assist charities of their choices. Mascom is believed to be happy for identifying beneficiaries and getting value for their money.
The mobile network company is still the longest standing partners of local football, having first tasted waters in 2005. The company now powers the Top 8 competition and said to have renewed the dame sponsorship at a value not exceeding 18 million. The Mascom Charity Cup was not the first to be hosted by a mobile network company.
In 2018, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) hosted a similar event in which followers had to vote. The four participating teams were Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Township Rollers. GU were the eventual winners.
It is however not clear if the tournament will continue in the next football calendar, but what goes down into the history books is that Teenage Mpote and Orapa United were the first to win it. In previous years, there have been an off season tournament whose aim was meant for charity purposes. The tourney was called Kabelano Charity Cup and was usually played by four big teams (Rollers, Notwane, GU and Chiefs) without taking the voting routes. It was last hosted in 2015 and had Barclays as the sponsors.
Yet another thrilling showdown is expected between the country’s hottest strikers, Thabang Sesinyi of Jwaneng Galaxy and Thataoyaone Kgamanyane of Gaborone United, as the duo are eyeing for the 2021/2022 Golden boot.
With only four Botswana Premier League (BPL) games left, the race for the honours is rolling towards a thrilling climax, but for two individuals there is a race for an accolade of their own taking place that could easily go down to the final minutes of the season. Leading the pack with 19 goals is Jwaneng Galaxy talisman, Sesinyi who is one goal apart from Kgamanyane who has netted 18 goals thus far.
Both players have their eye on the golden boot, hoping that their respective teams have fixtures to put them in with a realistic chance of catching up, or leaving the other behind. The Money Machine is currently at the summit of the BPL log with 61 points while the mining giant, Galaxy are trailing on the third place with 49 points, having played 24 games thus far.
Both teams (GU and Galaxy) are expected to face each other towards the end of the season, as the initial fixture was postponed due to Galaxy’s involvement in CAF championship group stages. With 19 goals chalked up for the season so far, Sesinyi is just one goal away from Kgamanyane who led the race for the better part of the campaign. Sesinyi who is on freakish scoring form has scored four goals in his last two games; a hat trick against Prisons XI and a goal against Sua Flamingoes in the midweek fixture.
But there is no doubt that Sesinyi is no longer playing to carry his team, Galaxy, as realistically there is a slim chance for them to clinch the 2021/2022 season, but he is eyeing the Golden Boot Award when the league falls off.
Kgamanyane has begun the season in tremendous form; scoring every time he is given a chance, while Sesinyi, on the other hand, reached the peak of his form in the second round of the season; scoring both in the domestic league and also on the CAF Champions’ league group stage. He featured on team of the week on February.
Furthermore, the Money Machine attacker showed some growth as his conversion rate has been on a rising graph in the games he has so far played. Although Kgamanyane’s goal scoring prowess has been there for everyone to see, the player has been hampered by injuries. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the duo.
Meanwhile, BPL this week announced that they will hold the 2021/2022 awards. The league has since added seven new categories to take the total number of categories to 16. Among some new categories are the Defender of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards. There are also two more awards for the administrators, as the league has included Team Manager of the Season and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Season awards.
The best performing players in this campaign will be included in the Premier League Best XI. Nevertheless, match day officials have also been recognised with the introduction of two more categories in the young Referee of the Season and the Female Referee of the Season. Furthermore, BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane indicated that the awards will be held on the 25 June 2022, just after the 2021-2022 season comes to an end.