Millionaire businessman Jagdish Shah looks poised to take over as the battle for control of Township Rollers inches close to a resounding end.
Shah’s chances of taking over control of the team were increased over the weekend after supporters endorsed a hybrid commercialization model during the team’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held under heavy security at the Gaborone West Community Hall this past Saturday.
The supporters believe the hybrid model will smooth things over for a Shah takeover. The model, which has now been christened the ‘Township Rollers Model,’ was overwhelmingly endorsed over four other models as the best by Rollers supporters. Under the model, which is expected to make it easier for investors to invest in Rollers, the supporters gave the incoming Executive Committee a mandate to negotiate with on some specific Township Rollers’ properties for a period of fifteen years.
Rollers’ Secretary General, Khumoyame Masonya explained that the model was made specifically to suit Rollers and the conditions of football in Botswana. He said the model was formulated after looking at various models used by successful teams all over the world and adapting it to suit Rollers. While not mentioning names, the Rollers’ Secretary General hinted that the hybrid model was designed with Shah in mind as he explained that they opted for this model as they already had a ‘potential investor’ who was already willing to help the team.
To further pave the way for a smooth Shah takeover, Township Rollers supporters then voted in a pro Shah executive committee to lead the team. While there are still some who are questioning the constitutionality of the vote and threatening to go to court, the vote will come as a pointer as to where Rollers is headed.
If the doubting Thomases ever needed an answer as to whether Rollers supporters want Shah, the answer was evident over the weekend as they chanted an emphatic ‘yes, yes, yes!’ every time a pro Shah candidate won at the polls.
The pro Shah committee, led by Walter Kgabung and Dickson Gabanakgosi had a clean sweep as they won all executive committee positions on offer. Kgabung was elected club chairman, beating off competition from Dr Edwin Dikoloti while Gabanakgosi shrugged off a challenge from Tshepo Monnakgotla to become club President. Minkie Molatlhegi, an employee of Shah at CA Sales, easily beat off competition from incumbent Treasurer Mfolo Mfolo, while Masonya retained his Secretary General position unopposed. The Rollers’ Secretary General will be assisted by Kebadiile Mosiakgabo, who brushed aside competition from Neo Makuku. The pro Shah rout was concluded with Phempheretlhe Pheto retaining his post as Public Relations Officer (PRO) while Baatweng Motladiile and Kenanao Gaotswake were elected additional members. Meanwhile, a group of dissenting Rollers supporters has vowed to go back to the courts to seek recourse. The supporters, who had previously taken the club to court to stop a takeover by Township Holdings and succeeded, argue that Township Holdings never handed the team back to the society as per the court ruling. They are also querying the constitutionality of the weekend AGM.