The battle for the control of the Francistown Regional Football Association (FRAFA) took a legal turn this past week as the fallout from the Botswana Football Association (BFA) regional elections continued.
In a dramatic turn of events, FRAFA chairman candidate Isaac Mabuta this past week approached the courts to stop the regional elections from continuing following his suspension from ‘all BFA activities’ by the association 2nd vice president Pelotshweu Marshlow Motlogelwa.
Mabuta, who is seen as the biggest challenger to the current regime’s favoured candidate Maokaneng Bontshetse, was this past Tuesday slapped with a suspension from Motlogelwa after allegedly ‘failing to account for BFA finances.’
In the past weeks leading to the regional elections, rumours were rife that Mabuta, along with Chobe RFA Secretary General Themba Senyemba and the then Hukuntsi RFA Chairman candidate Olson Mantle were targeted for suspension to bar them from contesting elections as they were seen as anti current BFA regime.
While Mantle has since survived attempts to bar him and has now been elected Hukuntsi RFA chairman, his other two fellow targets have not fared that well. Senyemba has since been suspended while Mabuta is fighting for his football administration career.
Prior to Mabuta’s suspension, the BFA had postponed the FRAFA elections to the 2nd of June to allegedly allow the region to finalise its financials to be presented at its General assembly.
However, as had long been expected, on Tuesday, just four days before the elections, Mabuta was hit with a suspension letter by the BFA, an action which would have barred him from contesting the weekend elections.
The FRAFA chairman candidate however did not take kindly to the suspension as he made an urgent application to the high court challenging the legality of his suspension. He wants the courts to set aside his suspension and pave way for him to contest elections against Bontshetse.
The BFA has since postponed the elections again to the 9th June and Mabuta is expecting the BFA to have responded to his letter of demands by end of business on Monday. The case will be heard on Thursday before Justice Phadi Solomon of Francistown high court.
“I have approached the high court to set aside the suspension because it is not legal and it is also not procedural. The intention of the suspension is to bar me from standing for elections” Mabuta.
He said he has approached the court so that the suspension is set aside so that he will be able to contest for the elections.
“They have no case against me it is a witch-hunt to eliminate me from contesting against their batman, Maokaneng Bontshetse,” said Mabuta.
He observed that the case they want to build against him is not coming from relevant structures, “if the suspension was coming from the BFA Disciplinary Committee (BFA DC) I could be saying it is proper because they would have called me for hearing and their decision will be an outcome of hearing where I could have defended myself against the allegations leveled against me,” he explained.
He explained that the BFA secretary general, Mfolo Mfolo is the one who could have written him the letter not the Motlogelwa.
“The secretary general is the one who is responsible for all correspondences not BFA VP. Again the letter is not citing clauses from the constitution that empowers him to write me suspension letter. The letter does not even say which structure within the BFA that took the decision to suspend him, from football activities. It is a witch-hunt,” concluded Mabuta.