“Justice delayed is justice denied,” so goes one legal maxim. For the suspended First Division North league committee, this maxim bears more sad truth.
Since their suspension by the Botswana Football Association National Executive Committee (BFA NEC) on the 29th October 2018, the FDN committee has been in football wilderness.
Now, the exiled FDN members are seeking reinstatement to serve the sport they love most, football.
They also want the allegations levelled against them by the BFA NEC to be dismissed as the BFA has failed to call them for hearing.
In a bid to finally get the BFA to get the wheels of justice moving, the suspended committee members have written a letter to the BFA Disciplinary Committee requesting redress.
“The delay in prosecuting our matter is a gross injustice to us as officials and it is not in the spirit of BFA constitution or Disciplinary code,” they wrote in a letter dated 25th February 2020.
In the letter, the suspended committee queried they have been suspended from all BFA activities ‘for almost one and a half years without any charge and or disciplinary action.’
The committee was suspended for alleged misappropriation of funds and failure to account on how the used the money they received. The whole committee was expected to appear before the disciplinary committee of the BFA to account on how they used the money.
Suspended chairperson Mpezeni Sambaudawe and his committee feel the BFA has failed to charge them for any wrong doing and the suspension has run for a long time without hearing or resolution to the matter.
In their letter to the BFA DC they plead with the Conflict resolution body to set aside their suspension and reinstate them.
They also felt that the BFA has defamed them and deny the first division north league their rightful representation in pursuit of developing the game.
“The next general meeting of the First Division North is scheduled before end of May 2020 as per the BFA constitution. The clubs have been denied of the service of the committee they duly elected. It is not only football that is suffering from injustice occasioned to us but we have also suffered personally for our reputations in other circles outside the game,” reasoned the dejected committee.
They also informed the DC that “our committee was duly elected by the general membership of first division in May 2018. In terms of the resolution of BFA assembly held in December 2019, the mandate of the committee has been extended to end of May 2022.
They went on to state that ‘on or about 17thJuly 2019, we received letter of complaint in terms of BFA disciplinary code. This was eleven months after our suspension. This complaint was purported to have been submitted to the DC for action, which we eagerly awaited.’
Since their suspension, there has always been a strong held belief within the football community that the committee’s suspension was just a witch hunt against them because there is a perception that they are associated with former BFA leader, Tebogo Sebego.
BFA will be going to elective general assembly sometime in July or August to elect the new NEC that will be in office for the next four years.