With less than a year to go before the Botswana Football Association (BFA) holds its elective General Assembly, signs are emerging that the next assembly may be as divisive as the previous one.
As potential candidates jostle for positions in the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC), political machinations are already in overdrive and the scheming, lobbying and campaigns by potential candidates has started.
As expected, the build up to the elective assembly seems likely to claim a lot of casualties as candidates try to eliminate whom they deem as potential threats.
Among those likely to be the first casualties of the often brutal elective assembly is the BFA vice president Administration, Segolame Ramotlhwa.
The soft spoken administrator is facing suspension from the BFA NEC pending a disciplinary hearing for allegedly ‘defying the BFA’ procedures and writing a letter ‘inciting structures to oppose a motion by the association.’
This past week, the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti penned a letter to the BFA Secretary General informing him he intends to propose a motion ‘in terms of article 40.1 of the constitution of the BFA’ for the ‘provisional removal of Mr. Segolame Lekoko Ramotlhwa – 1st vice president.’
The motion seeks: ‘Mr Ramotlhwa be provisionally removed as a member of the NEC pending ratification by the General Assembly.’
According to Letshwiti, the association ‘1st vice president contravened clause 2.18 of the BFA code of conduct when on the 19th of September, ‘he authored an email to all delegates for the Extraordinary General Assembly in which among other things, he lobbied the delegates to reject and vote against a motion by a bona fide BFA member.’
While the motion was tabled by the Central South Region Football Association (CSRFA), allegations however abound that ‘some BFA NEC members were the architect of the motion.’
It is alleged that if the motion was passed, it would have consolidated the support for the BFA president and his preferred team in next year’s BFA elective assembly as their supporters would still be holding voting powers.
In a highly charged letter written to the association and its members, Ramotlhwa disparaged the members for trying to undercut the BFA constitution.
“I have received with utmost shock, communication regarding the alleged submission from CSRFA which is not only highly un-procedural but completely unconstitutional wrote Ramotlhwa.
In his written contribution to both regions and NEC members Ramotlhwa explained that “the issue of the desire by certain members to un-procedurally and unconstitutionally extend their term of office was discussed at this year’s BFA ordinary assembly held on 10th August 2019 where the assembly was properly guided that the right/logical effective date of all the proposed amendments to the BFA constitution , especially as regards elections of all office bears shall only be from the scheduled BFA 2020 elections and after the amended constitution has been duly approved as a legal and operating document of the association by the registrar of societies” opined Ramotlhwa.
Ramotlhwa told his colleagues both at the NEC and the regional leaders that the regional leaders were voted into office with expectations that they will serve two years in office. “Those who want to continue beyond that period or under the proposed new term of office must constitutionally go back to their respective structures to seek fresh mandates. it would be a serious conflict of interest and highly un-procedural , immoral and unethical for you as delegates to the extra general assembly, to vote to extend your own terms of offices instead of going back to your respective appointing authorities to seek fresh mandates. This is a self serving agenda and it is immoral and highly unethical” he observed.
The VP administration further told the BFA delegates in his written submission because he could not attend because of the bereavements he had that the BFA constitution only allows only one item to be discussed in BFA extra ordinary assembly.
Recently the BFA held extra ordinary assembly to discuss financial report which the BFA leadership failed to table during the BFA assembly in august. It was a shock to Ramotlhwa and other delegates to find a motion (item) on the agenda that was put without fulfilling BFA constitutional requirements.
During the assembly former BFA president, Tebogo Sebogo fiercely opposed the motion until the BFA president bowed to pressure and put the motion on hold.
Speaking to The Sunday Standard, a source within the BFA NEC stated that the charges against Ramotlhwa were not politically motivated.
According to the source, the BFA vice president administration will be called to answer for not following the set procedures of the association.
“As the most senior figure in the BFA behind the president only and a member of the NEC, Ramotlhwa should have voiced his concerns through the set structures which are the NEC meetings,” the source explained.
“Unfortunately, he did not do such and he rather wrote a letter to the structures advising them to oppose the motion,” said the source.
The source said as in any democratic organization, Ramotlhwa could have made his concerns known and they could have then been debated.
“As this is a democracy, had he made his concerns known, a vote could have been taken to decide. Then the motion would have been adopted or discarded based on whether many of the NEC members voted for or against the concerns he tabled,” said the source.
On the issues why the BFA could not have waited for the elections to take place, the source said the intention was to ensure that the BFA NEC and that of the regional structures are staggered.
“This would have ensured if the BFA NEC is not elected into office, the structures would be there to help the new administration and ensure continuity. The concern is that if the NEC and regional structures are all voted out at the same time, this may collapse the association due to lack of continuity,” the source disclosed.