The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) will this coming Saturday vote for its executive committee and indications are that most, if not all, current committee members will retain their positions.
While no one has declared his interest yet, sources within say lobbying for votes has already started and some had used the ongoing tournaments to canvass support ahead of the Palapye bound Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Despite the fact that no one, save for those in the current executive committee, has declared interest to stand yet, sources say there is a likelihood that the current BCF President, Tshepo Sitale, will be challenged at the elections.
However, it is strongly believed that looking at the current committee’s track record, Sitale and his committee will retain positions. Ever since assuming the reins at BCF two years ago after the then President was despatched after a motion of ‘no confidence’ was passed on him, Sitale and company have been hard at work rebuilding BCF, something which culminated with him (Sitale) being elected the president of Africa’s Zone 4,3 chess federations.
While admitting that he will stand for elections, Sitale, however, said he cannot deny or confirm that anybody will be standing against him as no one has come forth yet.
“It is within our constitution that people can withhold and declare at the last moment, so we still have to wait until a day before the elections,” Sitale said in an interview.
Despite being one of the youngest committees in sports in the country, the current committee is credited with reviving chess in the country and rebuilding its image, something which has attracted more sponsors for BCF.
Meanwhile, Sitale says going into the AGM, one of their main priorities will be to decide on a new election policy to ensure continuity in the BCF. He says the current policy, whereby all positions are elected for at once is not good for continuity in the BCF.
“We would like to see a situation where elections are held in such a manner that when we go for elections, we leave out some positions so that the incoming committee can be composed of the old and the new to ensure there is continuity,” Sitale said. The BCF president says another objective will be to move to formalise their league committee and their arbiters committee so that they become constitutional. Sitale says despite being very critical to the growth and success of chess in the country, the two committees are not formally constitutional, hence the move to formalise them. The league committee is in charge of the BCF chess league while the arbiters look at refereeing issues.
Concerning the election of a new executive committee, Sitale says he is happy that his executive committee has laid a solid foundation upon which whoever comes in after the elections will build. Sitale says despite what his committee has achieved in its two-year tenure, there is still a lot of room for growth, something which the incoming committee will have to ensure happens.