Signs of a coup d’├®tat are already simmering at the surface as disgruntled members of Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) are seeking to oust incumbent president Dr Thato Patlakwe for poor leadership.
Barely a year since Patlakwe was re-elected for another four year term, it has been revealed that members are unhappy with his leadership and are already mobilising for support to kick him out.
“We intend to recall the boxing president. He has messed up our boxing and we have had enough,” one former BoBA administrator said.
“Plans are underway to remove him (Patlakwe) and we are just waiting for an opportune moment to carry out the plan. We are also still mobilising clubs for support,” the administrator revealed.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the administrator, who has been part of BoBA’s past executive committees, said the decision to oust Patlakwe is taken to resuscitate the fortunes of the sport, which have taken a nose dive.
Operating under the slogan ‘We Want Our Boxing Back,’ the concerned group, which is made up of former BoBA administrators, clubs and well wishers, met this past Saturday after the InterClub boxing tournament at Glenn Valley to map a way forward.
“It is no secret that boxing has regressed ever since Patlakwe took over the reins at BoBA. When he came in, boxing was a code in ascent. Other sporting codes came to BoBA to benchamark. Now, those codes have surpassed boxing in terms of growth and recognition,” the former administrator explained.
Among others, of great concern is BoBA’s failure in international competitions, loss of sponsors, a deliberate departure from sports development plans as well as lack of a coherent strategy to take the sport forward.
“For the first time ever since he came in, we have failed to qualify an athlete for the Olympics. For the first time in a long time, we have failed to win a medal at the Commonwealth in two consecutive times,” the source revealed.
“When he was elected to lead boxing, he found a four year Olympic cycle plan in place to prepare our boxers for major games. It has since been neglected and not been refreshed, hence the below par performances by our national teams,” the source continued.
The source said once the purge has succeeded, whoever will be taking over will have to reinstate BoBA’s development programmes, which had seen the code develop a number of good quality boxers.
“In the recent past, we had out of school boxing programmes for boxers who had failed and could not continue with boxing at schools as well as school holiday camps to augment our development programmes. These have since been abandoned and one of the tasks for whoever will be elected to take over will have to reinstate them,” said the source.
While the source refused to divulge details of how they plan to see out the removal of Patlakwe, it has since come to this publication attention that the group has targeted the BoBA Annual General Meeting (AGM) slated for June as the time to execute its plan.
“As this will not be an elective AGM, what will happen is that two clubs will sponsor a motion of no confidence on the BoBA president. This will then be taken to a vote and with the support already garnered, Patlakwe will then be recalled. He will then be followed by his entire committee out of the leadership,” it was revealed.
It is said once Patlakwe is successfully removed, plans will then get underway to prepare for elections of a new committee.
“This is a cleanup campaign for boxing. If as the boxing fraternity we do not clean up our sport, no one will come from outside to clean it,” the source concluded.