Saturday, December 9, 2023

Things get murkier at BoKA

A couple of months ago, Botswana Karate Federation (BoKA) ushered a new leadership to steer its ship out of its troubled administrative waters.

For BoKA affiliates however, it seems ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’ Ghosts of the past are still haunting the local karate controlling body. And by the look of things, the waters may get more turbulent before calm returns.

This past Tuesday, Karatenomichi Botswana wrote the BoKA executive a letter warning it of potential repercussions if it is not reinstated. Karatenomichi’s membership was terminated in February for failing to pay its ‘Annual Affiliation Fee as of the 31st of March 2022.’ 

Now, Karatenomichi is readying to kick back. In its letter referenced ‘Immediate Reinstatement – Karatenomichi Federation of Botswana’ dated 19th September, the federation is demanding a reinstatement as an affiliate of BoKA.

The federation’s letter of demand comes in the aftermath of a scathing resignation letter from BoKA executive by the association’s Publicity Secretary Keorapetse Dube. In his letter, Dube says Karatenomichi ‘has been unfairly terminated on allegations of non-payment of annual affiliation fee for the financial year 2022/23.’

He says the Karatenomichi ‘had dully paid annual affiliation amounting BWP2000.00 only on 31st March 2022 through bank ATM deposit. He adds that this is ‘reflected on BOKA Bank statement.’

The now former Publicity Secretary went on to add that the current BoKA Executive Committee ‘is prone to misleading the General Assembly in pursuit of achieving their personal interest.’

Citing the letter by BoKA’s erstwhile Publicity Secretary, Karatenomichi believes is being unfairly treated. It says the termination of its membership has left it ‘severely disadvantaged in terms of development and administration.’

“We are of the view that our reputation as KarateNomichi Federation of Botswana has been damaged, as there were unfounded or unverified allegations. With this submission, hereof, we strongly call for immediate reinstatement upon receipt of this communique, failure to which we will not be left with any other option but to take the matter further. Be advised,” Karatenomichi warns.

BoKA president Shihan Mpho Bakwadi however says the association is not fazed by Karatenomichi Botswana’s threats. He says the expulsion of the federation goes beyond ‘just the failure to pay affiliation fees.’

“We are yet to determine if the monies they paid were for affiliation fees as it was not stated,” Bakwadi says. “But that is not all there is to the story. They have also failed pay back the funds they had used from BOKA to support their Lobatse Sports Festival event, which was not an endorsed BOKA event,” he explains.

It is stated that during Tshepo Bathai’s tenure as BoKA president, he used the association’s funds to sponsor Karatenomichi’s events. These included the club’s championship as well as the Lobatse Sports Festival. Karatenomichi is said to owe BoKA P27 000 and has allegedly failed to settle the debt. On another serious note, Bakwadi says Bathai’who is the federation’s president “faced permanent expulsion from the realm of karate in accordance with the directive of the general assembly.”


Read this week's paper