Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A new twist as two BMC Welfare Social Clubs emerge

A twisted and curious case of two BMC Welfare Social Clubs is starting to emerge as the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) hierarchy wades into the ongoing BMC FC/Gilport Lions ownership saga.

While a Sonny Phiri-led BMC Welfare Social Club continues its fight to get its club back from Gilport Lions enterprises, another BMC Welfare Social Club has now emerged to partner the Commission in defence of Gilport Lions.

This latest twist came to light this past Friday as the Commission, through its legal representatives Desai Law Group, all but denounced the Phiri-led BMC Welfare Social Club as impostors.

In a letter addressed to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) dated January 20, 2017, BMC distanced itself and ‘BMC Welfare Social Club’ from the Phiri-led BMC Welfare Social Club.

“Our clients, BMC and BMC Welfare Social Club, have not, now and in the past, sought to interfere with Gilport Lions Sporting Club as alleged in any newspaper reports and correspondence, verbal or written, between BFA, Gilport Lions Sporting Club, Serole & Company and the purported BMC Welfare Social Club as represented by Lesedi Lesley Motheo and others. Neither have our clients sought to reclaim ownership of the football club from Gilport Lions Sporting Club,” so reads the letter.

In the said letter, which was leaked to Sunday Standard Sports, BMC, the Desai Law Group, stated that BMC Welfare Social Club is “an entity established for the employees of BMC”.

They said as such, Motheo and his associates, who are not employees of the BMC “have no authority explicit or otherwise to represent the BMC Welfare Social Club in any matters relating to the business of BMC and BMC Welfare Social Club”.

BMC then moved on to distance themselves from the letters written to the BFA by the Phiri-led BMC Welfare Social Club on December 14, seeking to “postpone the involvement of the club in the premier league”.

The Desai Law Group alluded that they do not have any dealings with Gilport Lions. 

“… our clients transferred their football team to (Esfandier) Ghodrati. It is Ghodrati who in turn entered into dealings with Gilport Lions Sporting Club. Neither BMC nor BMC Welfare Social Club have privity of contract with Gilport Lions Sporting Club. Thus, BMC and the BMC Welfare Social Club cannot therefore make any claims of ownership of the team from Gilport Lions Sporting Club,” so reads an excerpt from the letter.

Still in the same letter, Desai Law Group hinted that their clients, being BMC, are currently conducting an investigation into the conduct of Phiri and his associates.

According to the letter, among the matters being investigated against the Phiri-led BMC Welfare Social Club is their “illegal usage of stationery of the BMC Welfare Social Club in this matter”.

Meanwhile, Phiri confirmed that their fight to get their team will not stop. “Our dream is to see football clean and we are hoping soon after the season ends we will be given our team back. Our struggle still continues and we will not rest until our team is back,” said Phiri.

He further said they were also aware that the BFA had given the control of the team back to Gilport Lions and urged the association to come clean on this issue and stop taking sides if they want to run a sport clean from controversies.  

According to Phiri, they are still yet to receive any correspondence from the BFA informing them of reasons that necessitated the team to be given back to Gilport. 

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