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Chiefs’ ownership crisis deepens

There appears to be no ceasefire between warring Mochudi Centre Chiefs factions as the team battles a poignant war of ownership and identity.

The matter is now compounded by the contrasting faces of Botswana Football Association (BFA) and its regional structures who keep on sending mixed reactions regarding the status of the team. A group commonly led by one Tsieng Ramocha has since written to BFA once again requesting the Letswhiti led administration to try and normalize the legal standing of Mochudi Centre Chiefs before the matter incapacitates the state of domestic football.

The group states that Centre Chiefs is torn apart and as a result, the two warring factions are seen to be fighting fire with fire. The letter written to BFA has implored the association to attend to the issue within 14 days, lest it is taken for further mediation with FIFA, the world football governing body. When asked for clarity, Centre Chiefs’ long standing media liaison Clifford Mogomotsi said people dwell too much in history.

He explained that all events that took place before the December 2016 court order are no longer relevant. According to him, the only explanation that his group is ready to give is about everything that happened after court. Mogomotsi said, “it is time to move on, reports that we are registered at as a trust is false, in fact we have de registered this trust last year June.”  He continued, “Just last week, the Kgatleng region ratified that we are no longer a trust, but exist only as a society.”

The lingering negotiations about the club, once reached Lobatse high court for legal redress. Information shows that the court ordered both parties to form a transitional committee that was later tasked with conducting a thorough financial audit between periods of 2007 and June 2017. But as the club rumbles through different phases, it is noted that the court still recognizes Mochudi Centre Chiefs as a society.

WeekendSport has also discovered that the said transition never worked together as per the court order. Both parties continued to take a swipe at each other. A party known to have registered the Trust is said to have refused the auditing exercise- a claim one opposing group has shown in the letter that is now in the hands of BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo.

While Ramocha’s group continues to claim that the trust was never dissolved, a team which comprises of Mogomotsi and Raymond Tsheko among others say Chiefs has already done away with the matter and, in process, has affiliated as a society at the BFA. This is evidently supported by a BFA letter authored by one Setete Phuthego on APRIL 10 2018 that in indeed Centre Chiefs is affiliated as a society.

“This serves to confirm that Mochudi Centre Chiefs Sporting Club has affiliated to the Botswana Football Association as a society. This information is contained in CAF club licensing application which has been submitted to the first instance body and subsequently accepted by the same committee,” reads part of the letter.

Notwithstanding that, the other group still questions the authenticity and reliability of the Mogomotsi group. They are saying there are no records that show that the trust has been dissolved, and if indeed this has happened, the National Executive Committee (NEC), as per procedure, should be the one body accepting and ratifying the change and not the regional structure.

It is why on the 17th of April 2018, the acting Secretary General of Kgatleng region Mirror Pilane wrote asking for the umpteenth time for the club to clarify its affiliation status. The letter further explained that “as per the Kgatleng records, of club affiliation of 31st MAY 2017, Mochudi Centre Chiefs affiliation is recorded as a trust.” While the meditation is believed to have reached Bogosi at Kgatleng, there seems to be no conclusion ahead. Is Chiefs a society or a Trust? The question is yet to be conclusively answered.

Chronology of events

11 November 2013
Chiefs attempts to dissolve society

4th December 2013
Civil and National Registration asks Chiefs to submit a copy of constitution
Also asks for annual returns for 2012-2013

24th March 2014
Chiefs registered as Trust,  Kgatleng Regional FA informed

28th April 2014
Chiefs  Trust affiliation status accepted, pays P 5000

27th April 2015
BFA confirms Chiefs Trust

10th June 2016
BFA asks Chiefs to clarify affiliation status

20th July 2016
Chiefs SOCIETY says it was never dissolved

12th December 2016
The matter goes to court

22 February 2017
Chiefs transitional committee formed

30th June 2017
Chiefs attempt to dissolve the trust

10th April 2018
BFA confirms Chiefs as Society

17th April 2018
Kgatleng region says Chiefs is still a trust

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Sport

GU wins title after 13 years

23rd May 2022
GU

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.

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Sport

Softball returns to play

23rd May 2022
Softball

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”.

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Sport

Botswana ranked 4th in Zone 4 boxing tourney

4th May 2022
Boxing

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.

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