The raging storms that have for long engulfed Township Rollers Football Club dissipated this past Thursday when Judge Leatile Dambe finally delivered judgement on the case where a section of its members, dubbed Mookodi Seisa and others challenged its privatisation.
Dambe sent waves of excitement to the applicants’ hearts, Mookodi Seisa and others when she issued a declaratory order that the transition of the team from a society to a company was wrongful and has no force or effect to the extent that such a change is visibly contrary to the provisions of the societies act.
The prayers and hopes of the applicants which squarely rested on the shoulders of advocate Tefo Sibanda of Serole attorneys were answered.
Most importantly, Dambe rubberstamped the arguments of Mookodi Seisa and others that “the affairs and activities of the first responded (Township Rollers FC) are to be performed and or by any other person or entity.” Her declaration encapsulated within the 20 paged judgement essentially means Township Holdings – a company directed by Somerest Gobuiwang should not run the club’s affairs.
Sibanda said briefly after the delivery of the judgement that the executive committee of the club is now at liberty to take the reins of the club. As confusing as it may seem, the likes of Spencer Mmui and Mookodi Seisa are back in the picture at the club.
At the time when the case was channelled to court, Spencer Mmui held the position of chairman while Mookodi Seisa was a publicity secretary of the club.
It is worth noting that the respondents who were represented by Kgosietsile Ngakaagae argued at length that the likes of Mmui, Seisa, Allen Compton were once members of the Township Rollers Football Club but their membership had lapsed.
Hence their being dumped at the time when ideas of transforming the club were first initiated. The team then roped in the likes of Khumoyaone Masonya to be become the secretary general.
But the judgement has since punched holes on such arguments since the team’s constitution only mentions being a member but omits the lapsing of membership. Dambe observed that article 5 of Township Rollers only talks of being a member.
However, Masonya who according to reports was always a heartbeat away from Somerset Gobuiwang (cited as the 3rd respondent) deposed affidavits that Seisa and others were failing to perform their general duties. It is also observed that Masonya was Gobuiwang’s moral voice, who it is said has never been part of Rollers executive community despite his financing of the club.
Masonya would later become an important cog when he retracted Gobuiwang’s letter to the department of civil registration that the team was changing from being a society to a company.
However, Dambe observed that even the letter that Masonya tried to correct was with serious errors and unconstitutional. The letter stipulated that Rollers will remain under the umbrella of societies act but “Township Holdings was to assume responsibility for management of Rollers Football Club,”- A gross mistake highlighted by Dambe. She guided her point still on the constitution of the club that no any other entity or persons should run the club. “The club constitution clearly indicated persons who are vested with such management roles, not any other company,” the judgement reads.
Consequently, the delivery of the long awaited judgement now means Township Holdings should stop running the club’s affairs, leaving that responsibility to the executive committee.
Rollers family is now undecided as to whether it should bring back the Mookodi Seisa old committee or let the incumbent one press forward, but the fact remains, judgement has been made- the make-up model has finally fallen apart.
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.