Elders at the helm of long-suffering Gaborone United (GU) management are reported to be planning to turn down Nicholas Zakhem‘s proposal in an overwhelming effort to transport back the club to its glory days, WeekendSport has been told.
The move follows the insistency of GU branch chairpersons who demanded that the team be put in the hands of business mogul, Nicholas Zakhem. GU had hit rock bottom at the close of last season and was declared to be in crisis. As per the constitution, the club was taken to the elders to run its affairs pending special elective congress. The pain-attacking the club, commonly known as Moyagoleele, now appears to be deep-rooted.
Dated 2nd August 2018, Zakhem gave GU elders a proposal to ponder as the season nears commencement date. However, reports coming from GU boardrooms tell a picture of doubt and misgivings about the intention of Zakhem. The Lebanese born business guru has proposed that he loan the club money amounting to P 700 000 to pay for the team liabilities that have become overdue. The other money was to be used for preparation for the upcoming season.
However, this loan was to come under somewhat stringent conditions. Zakhem want the club to hold a special meeting within 30 days or within any period of time mutually agreed by both parties for the purposes of endorsing some certain resolutions. One condition is that ZAC construction through its principal, Nicholas Zakhem takes over management of the affairs and running of the team for a minimum period of 15 years.
ZAC also want the club to make a resolution that all management decisions shall be taken solely by him and the role of the executive committee be advisory. The proposal indicated that management decisions shall include player recruitment, coaches and administrative staff together with making decisions on behalf of the club.
ZAC also pledges to ensure that the club is professionally run through recruitment of players, coaches and other staff. He shall ensure that all staff and players are paid well on time and in accordance with their contract of employment, and to avoid negative publicity for the club. ZAC also promises to take care of general welfare of players, including finding accommodation for them. To further demonstrate his seriousness, ZAC promises to buy a 60 seater coachwith amenities such as toilet, aircorns and Television within the first three years of the agreement.
In a possibility that the club secures a piece of land, ZAC offers to construct a mini stadium to be used as a training facility and further be used for hosting home games. The offer also includes building a club house. Such a project was to commence with the first five years of the agreement and be completed within seven years subject to the availability of the land.
When coming to an end of the paper proposal, ZAC wants the club constitution be altered to cater for the above developments. To cap it all, the multi million pula investor demand that all court proceedings against the previous executive committee of the club be withdrawn. When reached for further clarity, GU interim Secretary General Kennedy Ramojela admitted to have received Zac’s proposal. He went further to state that the club will be shortly writing back to Zakhem to acknowledge receipt of the proposal.
“The club has received Zakhem’s proposal, we will be informing him that we received it.” He further state that the management (elders) will carefully scrutinize its contents and possibly take it to lawyers to help. “ It is a loaded document, and it has be thoroughly examined, the club is thinking to rope in a legal brain to further comprehend it,” Ramojela concluded. There seems to be reluctance on the part of GU to accept Zac offer. However, it is noted that Zac overlooked serious issues. He will be reminded that a society is never controlled by any entity as he yearns for total control of The Reds.
Gaborone United was this week crowned 2021/2022 Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions following their 1-0 win over the holders, Jwaneng Galaxy. Thero Setsile’s 13th minute’s goal was enough to seal the league championship, ending 13 years of drought from the Old Naledi outfit.
With two games to go before the top-flight season wraps up, Gaborone United opened a seven points gap to second placed Township Rollers having accumulated 63 points from twenty eight games. The Money machine were the first team to open a new chapter in the history books of Botswana football, when they were crowned the inaugural 2008/09 be Mobile Premiership champions, that came up with P1 million as prize money. Thereafter the club has been on the league drought as it could only manage winning Coca Cola FA Cup in 2012, Mascom top 8 twice in 2013 and 2015. They also won the Orange FA cup last season.
The return of Zackhem as the club financier signaled a new era with a number of galactic signings for the 2021/2022 season. The team brought into their fold big names in local football; Kekaetswe Moloi, Lesego Galenamotlhale and Joel Mogorosi. The arrival of enterprising left wing back Mothusi Johnson, dribbling wizard Mpho Kgaswane and hard tackling midfielder, Lebogang Ditsele made the job easier for the coaches.
Attacker Onkabetse Makgantai also joined the marauding attackers in Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Thero Setsile to make their front line combination the deadliest in the league. Both Kgamanyane and Setsile have netted 34 goals this season with the goal minder Goitseone Phoko keeping 20 clean sheets thus far while conceding just 10 goals. GU is still on the Orange FA Cup race and football commentators believe that they are the favorites looking at the quality of their squad.
As it stands should the Money Machine win all their remaining games, they stand a chance to equal the highest championship winning points record of 76 points which set by Mochudi Center chiefs during the 2007-2008 football season. That record stood for 14 years and Gaborone United could equal that feat should they win their remaining games against Sua Flamingos and struggling Notwane. The Money Machine made the bold statement begging of the 2021/2020 football season when they won 11 games straight games without even conceding a goal.
The Reds, who are under the guidance of Innocent Morapedi, a seasoned coach and his assistant Pontsho Moloi, has been consistent in the title race. In the process, the Old Naledi side has scored 59 goals while conceding the least goals (10 goals) and has a superior goal difference of 49 goals. Gaborone United success breaks Township Rollers and Mochudi Center Chiefs dominance as the only teams to have won the league title more than any other club in the last 13 seasons. GU’s proximity to money and talent were key this season.
Domestically since GU last won the league title, Mochudi Center Chiefs have won it three times; whilst the most decorated football club with 16 titles, Rollers has been dominating the league, winning five titles on the spin in five seasons from 2013-14 to 2018-19. Last season, Jwaneng Galaxy was crowned champions for the very first time due to being at the top of the table when the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the season to be prematurely halted with ten games to play.
After two years of no action across various sports codes including softball, Botswana Softball Association (BSA) is going back to the grounds to resuscitate the sport.
This weekend all roads lead to Selibe Phikwe for the top eight ladies championship. The eight ladies teams comprise the top four ladies teams from the south and north regions. They will then come together and form eight teams and battle it out this weekend at the Phikwe Softball Grounds and Area 2 Mowana Ball Park. The competing ladies teams are Titans, Police, Vikings, UB Giants, Rail giants, Scramblers, Carats and Ghetto Yankees. The champions will be crowned thereafter.
Softball Association Public relations officer, Boingotlo Marope explained that this tournament is not only for ladies, she said men’s championship will be held at Gaborone on the 28th May 2022. She said they have noticed that everything is confined to Gaborone as their headquarters in the southern region. As a result they have decided to take other activities to the northern region as well. “We are trying to grow softball, we don’t want everything to surround Gaborone only which is why the ladies tournament will be held at Selebi Phikwe in the northern region to bring equality.”
However, she explained that the reason they were missing in action is because of Covid 19. “We saw government cautionary trying to protect everyone by putting certain restrictions as spots had to stop for 12 months, we welcomed 12 months to protect Batswana. As a results that lead to the closure as there were no games”.
In addition Marope said they currently don’t have sponsors however private sector has always come through. Bofinet has to cut the sponsorship but that is not due to Covid 19 crisis. “Bofinet has showed commitment, they promised that as soon as they are settled they will come to our door knocking again,” she added.
Marope further said as a results they rely on their tight budget. Few of players has been sponsored, some has to dig from their own pockets, some parents cannot sent their children as some had to quit. “We have worked with our tight budget to assist teams and hoping that in the coming season we can have somebody to assist”.
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.