Friday, September 25, 2020

Mochudi Centre Chiefs now ÔÇô A decade of crisis in the making

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity,” so goes a Poem titled The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats.

As the second coming of an attempt of a putsch of the Mochudi Centre Chiefs executive over lack of financial accountability beckons, these words by Yeats will resonate.

The Kgatleng side is in anarchy, all hell has broken loose, the club is debt ridden and cannot pay its own players. Accountability seems to have gone out the window and the worst continue to rule.

On the other end, the club is at war with itself. Court cases are the order of the day and now supporters are also up in arms. This is the Centre Chiefs today.

For the uninitiated, the current crisis which has seen the team struggle financially is a recent crisis. But for the ardent ‘Magosi’ supporters, this is a crisis a decade in the making.

As the battle to save the Kgatleng outfit gains momentum, supporters are now pointing at the team’s successful era as the time when all the problems started.

Commenting on condition of anonymity, a source close to the crisis said the current problems could be traced as far back as the 2007 / 2008 season when Magosi, under the chairmanship of Ernest Molome won its first ever Botswana Premier League (BPL) championship, then known as the Mascom Premier League.

In the midst of all the celebrations that came with the success, it is alleged that accountability was thrown outside the door and no financial reports were made.

By 2010, alarm bells over the impending crisis were rung. It all started as a ripple with the then team benefactor Maclean Letshwiti, now president of Botswana Football Association (BFA) calling for accountability.

In his letter, Letshwiti requested that the team committee ‘provide detailed income and expenditure statement of the club comprising of income earned by the club during the period 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10 seasons’.

Interestingly, in the letter, which is dated February 2010, Letshwiti, demanded that the income should comprise of, among others, gate takings, prize monies as well as monies from different companies and individuals such as ‘Maclean Letshwiti, Motiganz and ExtraMile,’ just to mention but a few.

Letshwiti’s concerns at the time seem to have been shared by a section of the team’s ardent supporters and they duly made their concerns heard three months later with a letter of their own to the Centre Chiefs executive committee.

In a letter dated 31st May 2010, the supporters, through their legal representatives Busang Sebonego and Company called for the suspension of the entire committee ‘from running the financial affairs of the team.’

Among their concerns, the supporters, who wanted the club committee to give a financial report of the team finances, contested that the club owed some creditors.

“Generally, management has concealed crucial and important issues of the club from the general membership, it cannot be argued by yourselves that the way the affairs of the team have been conducted has been for the benefit of the club,” so reads an excerpt from the letter.

“However, at the time, many of the supporters were blinded by the success and the happiness that came with the team’s success and the few who voiced their concerns over the club committee’s mismanagement were easily dismissed,” the source opined.

According to the source, just when the matter of accountability was still being discussed, it was then sidelined by the long drawn legal battle launched by Ramocha Tsieng and others against the Chiefs executive committee.

It is alleged that this legal problem provided a perfect diversion from the real issues as the supporters rallied behind the management and thus failed to interrogate the matter.

“Then, thereafter came Jamali and his monies and once again the supporters were all happy and the matter of accountability was swept under the floor,” opined the source.

Now that the monies have dried and sponsors are all gone, supporters eyes have reopened to the possibilities of lack of accountability at the club.

“It became clear after our game against Rollers this past month that there was something wrong at the club. Despite the fully packed stadium, supporters were told that the club had not made enough monies as players were not paid their dues. This opened supporters’ eyes and they now demand accountability,” the source explained.

“What we now want is for the current committee to account and ship out so that we can start all over again,” said the source.

While it is early, the source revealed that the club’s next special assembly will be held at the Mochudi kgotla to allow for the club to discuss issues with the guidance of the village leadership.

“Hopefully, at this meeting, people will be able to discuss honestly and with respect and the current committee will be able to account for all the years they have not accounted,” the source concluded.

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