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BFA flawed tender exposed

A report detailing how a company by the name Global Consultant won a bid of restructuring the Botswana Football Association (BFA) road-map has been released and the findings point to a flawed process conducted to favour one competitor.

The report which was seen by WeekendSport reveals that Global Consultants (PTY) LTD was never part of the bidding selection, but rather its name cropped up at the eleventh hour, a scenario that caused much havoc.

On March 4, 2015, the report reveals, a total of 8 consulting companies were identified from the market, and later issued with detailed tender Terms of Reference (TOR), as a response to the invitation to tender for the provision of an organizational structure review and design. These 8 companies were given a deadline of 20TH March 2015 to submit their tender documents.

It emerges from the report that Global Consultant was not among the listed companies even when the deadline for tender submission was extended to the date of 24TH March. The eight companies are De Chazal DU MEE consulting (DCDMC) LTD, EOH Botswana, Friendly Planet Holding (PTY) LTD, Innolead Consulting, Leadex Consulting, Performance Growth Consultants, Service Bridges Consulting and Stilistics Sportainmnet.

As the bidding procedure was on-going, it was discovered that only 3 companies submitted tender proposals in response to the Terms of Reference (TOR). The three companies are De Chazal DU MEE, EOH Botswana and Innolead Consulting.

It is further revealed that on the 5TH of May, a tender evaluation meeting was scheduled with a proposed evaluation team to speed up the vetting exercise. However, it emerged that such a meeting never took place as it was advised that the then recently appointed Human Resources Manager (HRM) should be involved. A belief was that the HRM would manage the envisaged project going forward.

Three months later, on August 13th, the procurement officer handed over the 3 tender submissions unopened to the HRM.

Surprisingly, the HR Manager, on the same date sent an invite to three more suppliers with a closing date of 21ST August. The HR Manager, whose name is known this publication, did not inform the three original suppliers. Rather, trhe three suppliers were informed about the resubmission with only two days left before the deadline, on the 19th of August.  When given the report, the HR Manager said that only one supplier responded and was therefore awarded the contract by the BFA CEO without the involvement of the evaluation team, or at most, the National Executive Committee of the Association.

On the same day of August 19, according to the report, the procurement officer forwarded the list of those who tendered to the HR Manager. There, the process was on a ‘fast mode’. It is discovered that the HR Manager wrote to Innolead and DCDM informing them that the project had been revived for them to re-submit and tender for consideration by the Tender Committee.

According to the HR Manager’s report, on the closing date, three additional suppliers were added to the list. Curiously, one bidder being Global Consultants submitted the bid. All the while, the report shows that there was no record of the tender opening process as provided for on the TOR. Neither was there any record of an Evaluation Committee being part of the process as per the TOR’s clause 9.1 and 9.2.

As time unfolded, Kitso Kemoeng sent to the NEC the latest updates where he indicated that ‘‘the management was recommending Global consult to be awarded the contract.’’

The report however says there was no indication of an evaluation process carried out. In fact, it is submitted that the opening and evaluation of the tender was done by the HR Manager alone- a finding confirmed by the CEO at one of the meetings.

As the issue of awarding Global Consult heightened, the CEO made a recommendation to the NEC, advising that the company be awarded the contract through round robin resolution. The report says only two members responded positively. The number of the present NEC members is not indicated but it emerges that the round robin process was against the TOR clauses.

At this stage, the report states that severe damage was already done. The HRM’s report shows that some bidders who scored below the technical threshold proceeded to the next stage of opening financial proposal.

On October 22, 2015, at the scheduled NEC meeting, the issue of the changed TORs was raised and Vice President- Finance, Marketing Research, requested that the NEC be furnished with such because the dates proposed by Global Consult were different to those in the approved Terms of Reference.

At that point, a meeting between BFA President Tebogo Sebego and his three Vice Presidents (Marshlow Motlogelwa, Steven Phetlhe and Basadi Akoonyatse) was set on November 4 to extensively discuss the matter.

At the same meeting, the report reveals, the President acknowledged through an email seen by WeekendSport that indeed the process had been flawed. He further advised that the high authority ‘‘should consider relooking at the whole exercise to avoid governance lapses’’.

However, a day later, everyone was left shell shocked upon learning that the CEO had already signed the contract. According to the report, at a meeting on November 5, when a FIFA Development Officer was invited to clarify the issue on restructuring, confusion surrounded the meeting, as the FIFA officer revealed that a contract with Global Consult was signed with FIFA funding the exercise.

This publication previously reported that the matter was handed to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). When quizzed about the issue at the time, BFA CEO Kitso Kemoeng refused altogether to share details with this publication. ‘‘I think you should ask DCEC, they are best placed to answer your question,’’ he said. When further pressed about the restructuring issue, the CEO said, ‘‘I cannot talk about that matter, those who have informed you should have given you all the details.’’ Before, the incumbent CEO had laughed off the issue that he was conniving with the president to block other members from discussing the matter.

This is the same issue that had dominated media headlines for some time. The president was accused by several NEC members for signing the contract with Global consultant without engaging his committee. It was alleged that the contract was copied to FIFA- the world football governing body to inject cash for the restructuring exercise. At the time, the president was asked about the issue and he only responded that, ‘‘we will take the matters by the strides, I have not heard of any revolt and the law shall prevail’’.

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Sport

Rakgare addresses BFA presidential candidates

21st September 2020
Minister Tumiso Rakgare

Amid the confusion surrounding the date of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) elections, the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare, met with three presidential candidates on Thursday morning to discuss a plethora of problems bedevilling the domestic game.

The candidates are Maclean Letshwiti, the current President, Tebogo Sebego, the firm challenger of the BFA throne, together with Ookeditse Malesu who enters the race for the first time in his sporting career. There were other two unnamed officials who are said to be representatives from the sport ministry.

The Sport minister is said to have adopted a hard-nosed approach to register his disappointment and worry that the uncertainty of the upcoming elections have injured the administration of the local game.

Highly placed sources at the Sport ministry say that the minister’s ‘no gloves barred’ approach comes at the behest of the BFA’s constant negative headlines regarding their leadership style as of going into the elections.

It is said that Rakgare was also worried that the current administration is keeping the other two camps in the dark regarding the planning and processes bordering on election issues. This, he said has led to unnecessary speculations and back biting that is not needed to lift the game at a time when it is on its knees.

He was to rattle a few feathers at one incident when he called all the three leaders of the game to put their houses in order. As if that was not enough, the minister called on the three lobby groups to desist from serving personal interests but put focus on developing the game.

Interestingly, sources point out that the minister was livid but urged both Letshwiti and Sebego groups to refrain from tarnishing the good image of the ministry. This, he said in response to wide ranging allegations that he is taking sides as campaigns are ongoing.

The Sebego group accuses him of de campaigning Sebego and having a soft spot for Team Letshwiti while the same Letshwiti group is saying the same thing about the minister as having taking curious interest in Sebego camp.

The minister is alleged to have told the leaders that if they do not change their leadership style of protecting those looting public funds, his ministry would intervene even if it means attracting the wrath of FIFA, which is known for its notorious sanctions when countries do not toe the line. He urges BFA to be accountable at all the times they will cut the annual subventions that goes to them, sources claim.

This is not for the first time that the BFA was lectured on good governance. At one incident in 2015, former Minster of Sport Thapelo Olopeng dressed down the then Tebogo Sebego leadership regarding good governance.

BFA was at the time closely monitored by the ministry. Instead of the usual transactions that normally go through BFA, national team players received their allowances straight from government in the form of cheques. To demonstrate that government has taken a firm stand against BFA, players’ allowances were no longer routed through the association.

Nobody from the said meeting will address this publication enquiry all indicating that the consultation is never meant for public consumption.

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Sport

Virtual meet for BFA elections

21st September 2020
Malesu

If everything goes according to plan, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) will hold its annual general assembly next month through a virtual conference.

There has been much uncertainty as to how and when the congress will be held seeing as how COVID-19 protocols remain stringent on gatherings.

Sources speaking with this publication say the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the association has agreed to hold the congress within COVID-19 zones, consequently dispelling all the lingering doubts surrounding the life and soul of the assembly.

As it stands, there are nine COVID -19 zones in Botswana. The association is therefore contemplating to rely within four zones where live streaming will take centre stage for the first time in the history of BFA elections.

The congress was first billed for August 8th but was postponed to August 22nd. However, the second date could not see the light of the day as the country recorded a second rise of coronavirus cases that promptly led to greater Gaborone going into yet another lockdown.
BFA President: Letshwiti
The association has been procrastinating over the virtual congress idea with the election agenda remaining a sticky issue. Many advices came flooding that the association is free to make any decision about the congress but should be very careful not to compromise the integrity of the vote.

Sources indicate to this paper that the association is likely to rely on four COVID-19 zones, namely Gaborone, Francistown, Jwaneng and Palapye. The need to plant the meeting on virtual technologies hinges on the fact that the COVID -19 health protocols do not permit people to cross zones to hold meetings.

Information gleaned from various sources is that the association is looking to rely on four zones primarily because of the limited number of personnel under the electoral board. There are five members consisting of this committee and by the look of things; the association will not be allowed to outsource more election overseers at the eleventh hour.  Sources argue that the whole cautious exercise is meant to avoid complaints that may arise after elections are held.

The virtual meeting comes after many failed attempts by the association to convince the Kereng Masupu led Task Force to give out a special dispensation.  On many occasions, the Task Force refused to allow for the assembly to go on saying “football is not a priority.”

The assembly is expected to be held next month but the exact date still remains a subject of speculation. In the end, Tebogo Sebego will stand again for the second time to unseat Maclean Letshwiti while Ookeditse Malesu is standing for the first time to try and wrestle for BFA power.

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Sport

Talks to merge BNOC, BNSC resurface

14th September 2020
BNOC,BNSC merge

The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare, is eager to lead crunch talks that will consequently see Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) becoming one authoritative sport entity.

The appointment of one Tuelo Serufho to the plum position of BNSC Chief Executive Officer two week ago has further catalysed the intention to merge the sports bodies to avoid the long standing complaints of duplication of roles by the two.

Serufho was replacing Falcom Sedimo whose contract was not renewed.Serufho, ironically is the longest serving CEO of BNOC and also a board member of BNSC.“One of our aims is to form a robust sport body to centralize and improve decision making processes and maybe the time to resuscitate BNSC/BNOC merger is now,” Rakgare briefly shared.

The impending move is highly meant to improve effective functioning, governance and performance of sports in the country both locally and globally.Should this see the light of day, Botswana would have done itself a favour and it would start sending a handful of athletes to international competitions.

The amalgamation of BNSC/BNOC talks have been in the pipelines but discussions were aborted two years ago without clear reasons. The creation of this all-encompassing sport institution is overdue according to the minister.

“It is in fact our mandate to make sure this happens, it is overdue and by next year we hope to have finalised our position paper,” Rakgare added.The creation of the looming body is borne out of lessons learnt from various sports governance models around the world.

In South Africa, the sports ministry facilitated discussions to merge National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and the South African Sports Commission. Their authoritative sports body is now called South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

With the South African model well in place, Botswana is urged to bench mark and create a sport body as a civic society-based organisation as required by the statutes of international sports bodies.The name of the local sport body is mooted and the minister refused to give a hint. But he is optimistic that the body will be the vanguard organization of sport in the country.

He emphasized that the sports organisation should be a purposeful guardian for governance and management of sports and be the required defining figure of the role of sports in Botswana’s communities.Talks to revamp and rebuild these sports bodies come at a time when BNSC is restructuring.

When Sedimo was still at the helm, he wanted to phase out some positions which he felt were unnecessary.BNSC receive close to 53 million Pula as grants from the government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports development and Culture empowerment while BNOC takes a figure a closer to that.

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