Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Squabbles, factionalism, mistrust rocks the Reds

Gaborone United (GU) supporters will on July 11th converge at the University of Botswana G12 Auditorium for their general assembly. It is at this Indaba that the club’s membership is expected to elect the new office bearers who will lead the famous city giants for the next four years. As the elections are less than a month away, dirty campaigning is reported to be the order of the day inside the club’s circles.

When GU became the first side to adopt some of the Bosele Declaration resolutions by opening a fully operational office, amongst other things, it was clear that they were heading in the right direction. As per the recommendations from the Bosele Declaration, the office bearers were also given four years to take control of the club. As their term comes to an end, outgoing GU secretary Herbert Letsebe said that it has been a long road but they are proud of what they have achieved. “On behalf of everyone, I would like to thank GU membership for the support they’ve granted us over the period. It has not been an easy road but we’ve tried our best under the circumstances to grow the brand of GU. We’ve run our race and it is time to hand over the baton to other GU members who have the potential. Yes, we’ve had our shortfalls, but I want to believe that those coming in will ensure that they take the club forward,” said Letsebe on Friday morning.

According to sources, this year’s elections are the dirtiest in the history of the club. Almost all the members have not hidden information concerning the factions they belong to, and in return they have used different platforms to discredit each other. It is reported that daily meetings are being held behind closed doors where both factions come up with strategies to utilise in the upcoming elections. “It is normal in every environment that people would have different opinions but we need to protect the image of the club. There is no point of washing our dirty linen in public. Unfortunately, there are some people who have gone to the radios and newspapers to discredit others. I think we can discuss our problems at the meeting and in the end exercise our rights by electing the right committee for the club,” Letsebe added.

Sources reveal that since the beginning of the year, the once united Reds’ family has become their own enemies. “The factions are not helping the club because there is no longer trust. If what is said on the corridors will prevail in the end then we’re sitting on a time bomb. There are people who have long deserted the club but resurfaced recently because of elections. In the end they’re causing lots of confusion,” said a source.

At the elections, the current chairman Fedelis Nkomazana will switch positions to stand for the club’s president. He leads the A-Camp and will come face to face with B-Camp’s Ntona Ketsitlile. While the latter is seen as an outsider, it is said that he might be what the doctor has ordered for the Reds. Already there are reports that some supporters are not happy with Nkomazana’s performance in the last four years.

In the chairman’s position, Tymon Katlholo will battle it out with Rapula Okaile. On paper, it seems Katlholo will have a landslide victory but those inside the club say Okaile has done enough ground work. “It is the race of the chairmanship which might prove more exciting.

Katlholo is a man of reputation and that puts him in the front seat but you cannot rule out Okaile because he grew up in GU environment,” said one source.

University of Botswana lecturer Kennedy Ramojela will pit his strength against former GU captain City Senne for the position of secretary general. It is said that Senne is the favourite for the position as he has served the club well in the past as a skipper and publicity officer. Senne also has the massive support from ex-players and supporters. But he might have shot himself in the back following utterances he made on a radio sports shows last weekend. “Let’s not forget that Ramojela has also done a lot for the club over the years. He is the one who has ensured good communication between the committee and supporters. He is a smart guy who without doubt will do well in the position,” said a source.

Just like Letsebe, the current treasurer Kagiso Rantswaneng will not stand for any position. His position will be contested by the club’s unsung heroes, Goitsemang Lonkokile and Nancy Borakanelo. The two women are reported to have done a lot for the club behind the scenes over the years.

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