The Jungle Kings ‘s demolition of premier league teams suggests a tilt at the top four, and effectively places them at the top of the standings, but Maxwell ‘s teams have in the past often failed to use such results as a platform for greater things.
Police XI has not received half the credit they deserve for leading the pack in the be MOBILE premiership. Although that is partly due to the fact that the defending champions, Mochudi Centre Chiefs’s wretched start to the season is the bigger story, especially when illustrated with pictures of a grumpy Mike Sithole and team followers. But partly it is due to Police XI’s own status as an up-and-down sort of side team, a typical Maxwell Moyo outfit.
In the wider scheme of things the Jungle Kings are not expected to carry on like this all season, terrorising all who come their way and making a serious push for top honours. It could happen, but most probably it won’t. The Kings were off to a good start this season when newly promoted Galaxy FC came along and were thrashed 2-1.
A winning start was a reasonable result in the end but it still had supporters expressing doubts, once again, over Moyo’s style of coaching and suitability for the job. The same supporters are however happy now, after a series of joyous afternoons against other league teams when every single one of Maxwell Moyo’s decisions came to inscribe a good start the team ever had.
That is not to imply Police XI will lose at a time where they gained a respectable point last season, just to point out that their form and results can be wildly unpredictable. Everyone feared the worst when Everton had to go to play Sankoyo Bush Bucks. They easily scored 3 goals and this was followed by a stylish 4-1 win against Gilport Lions. All in all it was a long way from what most people were expecting.
However, the Jungle Kings are not yet the talk of the town. The football headlines are still dominated by Rollers, Gunners and Center Chiefs, but the truth is they are yet to record their first defeat this season-and even when they do, nobody will leap-frog them.
Is this the start of something big at Police XI with Maxwell Moyo, or is he simply doing what he used to do at Orapa United, producing stellar performances one week then mistake-ridden calamities the next? A roller-coaster would be the cliché of choice for the Maxwell Moyo years at United, beating all the big names in the Premier League but leaking points to lesser opponents all the while, though helter skelter might be a more apt description of the final few weeks, Mascom top 8 qualification and top 2 spot notwithstanding.
Moyo and Orapa United never got the credit they deserved for taking Mochudi Center Chiefs and Rollers apart at Itekeng stadium either. Once again most of the coverage focused on the opposing coach – it turned out to be Madinda Ndlovu’s last season and Rollers in particular were therefore excused for a lacklustre display – when in reality Moyo should have been lauded for his tactical acumen and his ability to get the absolute utmost from a collection of mostly ordinary players.
The all round truth is that Police XI have made a better start to the season than Chiefs, Rollers and Gunners – though it is an assessment that really needs to be made in the second half of the season, not the first couple of months.
The team needs to develop consistency, to become a team feared by opponents for picking up points as well as rave reviews. Everyone knows they can hit the heights, everyone also knows there are likely to be troughs as well.
Currently, the tendency is to wait for the next result to put the last one into perspective. If Moyo can break that spell he could take his side to the next level. Confidence is currently coursing through the club, though the same could be said of Rollers who are also yet to register a loss this season.
Police XI is however arising and it shows they can top that mini-group first, before they aim any higher. It is traditional at this point to observe that the Jungle Kings, or any other team like them, will have a good chance in the cup if they are not quite strong enough for the league but can raise their game when the occasion demands. That is both patronising and old-fashioned. The cups have had their day. Consistency is now the bigger prize.
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.
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.
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.
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.