Saturday, September 26, 2020

BFA, SOFA in war of words as regional elections fallout continues

The fallout from the acrimonious Botswana Football Association (BFA) regional elections looks set to roll on into the summer.

With signs already showing that most of the current regime’s preferred candidates have failed to make it into their desired positions, a new push now looks underway to nullify some elections with a view for new elections.

Just this past week, the BFA wrote a letter to the newly elected Southern Regional Football Association (SOFA), casting aspersions at the elections.

The SOFA elections were won by an alleged Tebogo Sebego sympathiser, Lesego Leaketsa who triumphed 14 ÔÇô 1 over the regime’s alleged preferred candidate.

However, the BFA has now acted swiftly and just this past Wednesday, the association wrote to the SOFA Secretary halting any potential handover of the SOFA office to the newly elected committee.

“We write to inform you that we have received preliminary reports regarding the manner in which the Southern Regional Football Association annual assembly was conducted especially in relation to the election of the regional committee,” so reads the letter signed by acting BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thandie Akambakamba.

In the letter, Akambakamba then requests the SOFA Secretary ‘to furnish us with a detailed report concerning the manner in which the elections were conducted.’

Among others, the SOFA secretary is requested to provide ‘list of delegates who participated in the elections, the elections overseer and any other relevant information.’

“While this matter is ongoing, we inform you that any matters pertaining to handover and resumption of office by the newly elected committee be put on hold pending finalisation of the same,” the letter concludes.

As expected, the letter was not received kindly by the newly elected SOFA committee, who wrote back questioning the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC)’s involvement on the matter.

In the response signed by none other than Leaketsa, the SOFA Executive Committee is demanding that it be explained to them who the ‘we’ in the letter refers to.

“Referring to paragraph one of your letter you open/start by saying “We” it is not clear to us (The Regional Committee who you are refer to as “We”. The Regional Committee is yet to get clarity on that address.

The second issue on the same paragraph is that you mention the purported preliminary report that you have received. Who submitted that report and on what capacity? Your letter indicates clearly that the purported report relates to the elections that were held on the weekend during a constitutionally constituted assembly. Should the report more so that you mention an appeal be submitted to whoever the “We” refers to apart from the Elections Committee?,” a clearly miffed SOFA executive retorted in its response.

Not mincing their words, the SOFA executive committee warned the BFA that the matter does not fall within the jurisdiction of the BFA NEC, but ‘is rather a constitutional matter or it falls directly under the jurisdiction of the Electoral Committee a committee which is independent from either BFA NEC and or the BFA Secretariat.’

In a clearly defiant mood, the SOFA executive committee in the letter categorically informed the BFA that the handover of the office to the new committee will continue.

“The National Executive Committee of the BFA has no such powers in the Constitution to override the decision of a Regional Assembly if the “We” refers to the NEC. Should it refer to the Secretariat, be informed that they too have no such powers,” so reads the SOFA executive committee’s response.

“In closing you are informed that the Committee that was elected on the 9th June 2018 shall carry out its constitutional mandate as stipulated in the BFA constitution.

Be reminded that any correspondence between members of the old committee and yourselves will be a gross violation of the constitution. Their mandate ended on the 9th June 2018 at a Constitutional Annual General Assembly that was held in Kanye,” concludes the letter.

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