Tuesday, June 2, 2020

COVID-19 rocks BFA foundation

The Coronavirus pandemic seem set to rock the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to its foundation – literally.

BFA leadership was this week hoping for the best and preparing for the worst that the football association’s founding document – The Constitution – would trump the coronavirus and that the BFA elective congress scheduled for August will go ahead as planned.

The chairperson of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) electoral committee chairperson Moemedi Letina optimistic that the elective congress will go ahead as scheduled. In an interview with the Sunday Standard, Letina said the elections would go ahead as scheduled on the 8th August 2020.

“It is in the constitution that elections should be staged by the second week of August every four years. We have scheduled elections and we are optimistic if COVID-19 does not disrupt them, they will go ahead,” he explained.

Letina says the committee is aware that BFA activities are currently on hold and the suspension might end towards the end of the year, provided the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. Should the BFA activities extend past the normal season break, which usually encompasses the August date, Letina says elections would take place in between the activities. 

“BFA elections are not tied to the season. They are a constitutional requirement that occurs on its given time. If the mandate of the other leadership elapses there has to be elections to usher in a new regime to run the association,” he said. 

There are however rumours in the BFA corridors that some members are running around football regions lobbying for a postponement of elections to December.

Latina said those members do not have a mandate to seek the postponement of the BFA congress. “Maybe they want to stand, and they want more time to prepare, but the BFA elections are the sole responsibility of the electoral committee.” Contacted for comment, BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mfolo Mfolo would not commit to the allegations that the BFA leadership want the elections postponed. 

“The elective General Assembly is the prerogative of the electoral committee to decide. The independence of the electoral committee must be respected,” Mfolo said. According to article 54 of the BFA constitution, the electoral committees oversee the organising and supervising of the elections process in accordance with the electoral Act of the BFA. 

The electoral Act of the BFA consists of electoral committee (first instance body) and Elections Appeal committee (second instance body). Due to their highly political nature, the BFA elections always attract huge interest among football supporters. Lately, candidates and their supporters riddle the elections with personal attacks, making for an interesting spectacle.  

For the upcoming elections, a rematch is on the cards with the incumbent BFA president Maclean Letshwiti taking on his predecessor Tebogo Sebego.

In their last elections duel, which Letshwiti won, the election had to go for the second round to determine the ultimate winner as none managed to pass the 70% mark needed to win as per the BFA elections act. 

In the first round both Letshwiti and Sebego polled less than 70% hence they had to go for the second round to determine the winner. While a call for nominations is yet to come, clandestine campaigns for the BFA positions are underway with two factions, led by both Letshwiti and Sebego seemingly prominent. 

According to the BFA electoral committee chairperson, the committee is expecting to open for nomination in June. He says after the nominations, they will follow the process of vetting candidates looking at the elections guidelines before announcing the candidates who will be eligible to stand for elections. 

Letina says during the process, those who would have shown interest but do not qualify will be vetted out.

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