Botswana Football Association (BFA) President Maclean Letshwiti has pronounced a disparaging verdict on his predecessors as the association agreed to settle a long standing P2 million debt to Pulah Sports Marketing.
The association was this week forced into a scramble as Pulah threatened to attach some of its property to liquidate the debt.
Pulah was engaged by the BFA, through the Botswana Premier League (BPL) in 2008 as consultants in ‘order to secure sponsorship, television rights and marketing rights for the BPL.’
Under the agreement, the BPL was to pay Pulah a fee equivalent to 12.5 percent of the amount raised by the consultants through the ‘sponsorship, television rights and marketing rights for the BPL by Pulah.’
It is alleged that consequent to the agreement, Pulah successfully secured a three year sponsorship from BeMobile valued at P24 million for the BPL.
However, contrary to the agreement, BFA/BPL paid Pulah only P500 000 in September 2011, leaving P2 million outstanding, which is yet to be paid to date.
“This is a comedy of errors,” an irritated Letshwiti said in an interview. “According to the information that I have, that consultancy (by Pulah) was executed and BFA had no problem with paying,” Letshwiti explained. “There are letters of commitment where BFA says yes it will pay,” the BFA president continued.
Letshwiti however said contrary to the agreement, the BFA then failed to pay, leading Pulah with no option but to drag the association to court, after which the BFA made arrangements to pay.
“Subsequent to that, there was an employee of the BFA who convinced the association that he can go to court and argue that Pulah did not execute their consultancy duties,” he continued. The said employee assured the BFA that he can prove this in court and signed an affidavit, which the BFA bought,” he said.
Following this, Letshwiti says the BFA then decided to go to court, but the very same employee, who was to be the association’s chief witness recanted on his sworn statement, leaving the association lawyer with no option but to quit the case.
“It was at this stage, if there was leadership within the BFA that they would have realised they have no case and settled with Pulah,” he said.
Letshwiti said he was puzzled that the very same employee, who was in the employ of Pulah before the association poached him, was not relieved of his duties after recanting on his sworn statement.
“This is why I say this is a comedy of errors. There was clearly a case of conflict of interest in terms of governance,” the BFA president said.
“We are actually in this mess because of the lack of leadership in the BFA at that time,” said an irate Letshwiti.
“When I took over, there was P10.5 million deficit in the BFA coffers, Pulah debt being one of them,” he said.
“BFA is a public organisation supported by public funding. We cannot stand and watch misappropriation of public funds. In my leadership, people involved in this P10.5 million deficit will have to account,” he warned.
“Everybody involved in this mess is going to be brought to book. We did that at FIFA, we did it at CAF, and I am going to do it in Botswana.”
“We are going to purge football of people who mismanage public funds. That is a clear message, it is going to be done,” Letshwiti concluded.