Thursday, August 6, 2020

BFA Electoral Board Under Scrutiny

Skeletons are tumbling out of the Lekidi closet as the fallout from the Botswana Football Association (BFA) electoral board vetting system takes center stage.

Following the vetting out of two presidential hopefuls, Tebogo Sebego and Ookeditse Malesu, some aspiring candidates are of the view that the process was deliberately skewed to eliminate the duo.

Though they have passed the vetting process, the candidates believe the current BFA leader Maclean Letshwiti was not fully scrutinized. 

A week ago, The Voice Newspaper reported that the premier league bought cars the BFA President’s car rental agency, Avis Budget, something which the BFA has not denied.

Though the BFA denied there was any wrong doing in the process, it however did acknowledge they did buy from his company. 

“The Botswana premier league received 5 quotations from reputable motor dealers in the country and outside the country. The quotations with the lowest price was Avis Budget. The president has long declared interest in all his business to the BFA, and to the public, before and after he assumed office,” the BFA declared.

Letshwiti’s detractors are however adamant that while he could have declared, it was wrong for his company to deal with a national association he is leading, saying this amounted to conflict of interest.

The other concern to that some candidates felt the vetting committee did not do was to investigate how a company belonging to Letshwiti’s son was doing business with BFA. 

They allege that Chemdol Proprietary Limited, which is owned by Motheo Ditso Letshwiti, is supplying BFA with cleaning chemicals. It is not known whether the company declared it was owned by the BFA boss’ closest family member. 

Asked to verify if indeed the association was doing business with a company owned by Letshwiti’s son, BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo said he ‘cannot confirm nor deny.’ 

The CEO’s response came after he gave this publication 30 minutes to check whether Chemdol is doing business with BFA. 

Mfolo had earlier said the BFA does not check the owners of the company they do business with but only look at whether they meet BFA’s procurement procedures. 

They concerned parties are adamant that they will report all their grievances with the relevant authorities.  

On another matter, the worried candidates said it is surprising that the scope of scrutiny was made to cover only ten years, thus exonerating any scrutiny on the BFA president.

They cite that in 2008, Letshwiti was among the managers who were accused of selling themselves BIFM shares, a move which was later reversed by the board.

In the aftermath of the fiasco, ‘Bank of Botswana cancelled its asset management contract with BIFM citing reports that BIFM executive managers and directors had secretly sold themselves P300 million worth of shares in the company. 

“BoB, the Botswana government’s principal advisor on economic issues, joined the groundswell of opinion against MacLean Letshwiti, Keith Jefferies, Regina Vaka and Victor Senye’s purchase of a 10 percent shareholding in BIFM, an asset management arm of BIHL.  (2nd July 2008 Sunday Standard)

They also lament that the same vetting was also not rigorous on members of the Letshwiti camp.

“Vice president Motlogelwa should also be vetted out like Sebego because he too had a matter that happened in 2018,” they opined. 

Motlogelwa had a default judgement awarded against him over failure to pay his loan obligations with First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB). 

The default judgement was however later rescinded on condition that he normalizes his dealings with FNBB, something which he has since done.

“He is the head of the finance committee responsible for the finances of the BFA and as the custodian of the BFA money he must be pure and clean,” the concerned individuals opined.  Both Sebego and Malesu have appealed the vetting decision. 

The BFA elections are billed for 8th August 2020.

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