Sunday, March 3, 2024

BNSC bites the dust

Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) was last week humiliated after High court Judge Justice Letsididi set aside its decision to ban the president of Botswana Amateur Fencing Federation (BAFF) Gaolatwe Modongo from participating in sport.

BNSC had banned Modongo from holding any leadership position for the next three years within the National Sports Associations, or clubs affiliated to the BNSC, either as direct association with BNSC or any, sport entity that is a member of BNSC.

The BNSC last year September wrote BAFF president a letter barring him from participating in sport for three years. The victory gave Modongo another chance to continue serving the sport he founded in Botswana. Talking to Sunday Standard, the victorious Modongo reaffirmed his commitment to serve sport with fairness.

“I was suspended because I was seen as troublesome for questioning some policies that were alleged to be there but never existed within the BNSC,” he said. According to him one of the things that he questioned was the BNSC funding policy which he says BNSC failed to avail the copy of the policy to his federation.

“We questioned the funding policy and we were told for us to be funded we have to stay one year without funding from BNSC. I found that to be wrong and counterproductive.  I told them that once a sporting federation is affiliated, it is entitled to grants like the rest of the affiliates” he explained.

He said the other thing that put him in trouble was the auctioning of BNSC vehicles. “The vehicles were auctioned and I asked why they can’t be given to other codes to use them and pay for their maintenance because they will come handy. It will enable codes to run their operations with ease,” said Modongo. The vehicles were taken from all BNSC regional offices and were auctioned to staff members, according to Modongo.

“I questioned the move by BNSC because those staff members who were working outside Gaborone were the auction was taking place were not favored by  the auction since there were not there” said Modongo.

Modongo is working on to sue BNSC leadership for defamation and will want to advocate for small codes to be treated fairly like others.  “I am going to sue them for defamation because I want to clear my name from any wrong doing” said Modongo.

Modongo alleges that questioning the way BNSC does its business led to the management of BNSC wanting him to be kicked out of the BAFF. He later lost elections in 2016 which he accuses BNSC of interference. The new committee was later voted out after failing to implement the programmes of the federation. Also the committee was alleged to be favouring clubs that did not pay subscription fees as opposed to those who paid. This led to clubs regrouping and voting back Modongo into office.  He is yet to occupy the office as Masuku’s committee is still in the office. The Modongo faction has since opened a case before the high court seeking the court to force the Masuku faction to vacate the office.

Still with BAFF, the federation has written to the office of the ombudsman requesting them to conduct investigations against BNSC over the vehicle auction sale. “Sometime in 2016, I witnessed an auction sale of cars that belong to the commission. Only members of the secretariat based in Gaborone were allowed to participate in the sale,” read the letter from Modongo.


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