The Botswana Africa Youth Games Organising Committee (BAYGOC) Chief Executive Officer, Tuelo Serufho has refuted rumours going around that things are not well with the committee. While the rumours of discontent within BAYGOC have been circulating for a while now, the latest have been sparked by the sudden resignation of BAYGOC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kitso Kemoeng.
The BAYGOC COO resigned this past Monday. With less than fifty (50) days to go before the games kick off, the resignation of the COO is viewed as likely to delay progress as Botswana seeks to host successful games. Kemoeng’s resignation follows that of three other high profile personnel in the committee, namely its two successive Marketing and Outreach Managers, Olebogeng Lejowa and Thuto Thema as well as its Resource Mobilisation Manager Monty Robert. The resignation of the officials is said to be a sign of discontent among the BAYGOC Secretariat.
While Serufho has moved on to deny that the resignations were a sign of discontent, it is widely believed that most of the resignations are as a result of such. “While I cannot divulge details, all I can confirm is that these resignations are not unique to Botswana. All the concerned people have resigned due to different reasons but definitely not discontent. I can assure Batswana that all is well within BAYGOC,” the BAYGOC CEO explained. Asked whether rumours doing rounds that Kemoeng’s shock resignation is a result of his sour relationship with BNSC chairperson Solly Reikeletseng, Serufho said he could not state whether such allegations are true as he is not privy to them. Despite Serufho playing down the allegations, sources within BAYGOC have alleged that the issue of sour relations between Kemoeng and Reikeletseng are true.
It is alleged that since their acrimonious relationship at the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC), the two have never seen eye to eye. Asked for comment, Kemoeng also downplayed the allegations, saying he resigned to concentrate on his business which has suffered a lot when he was sitting in the committee. “My business has suffered in the short period I have been with BAYGOC,” the former COO explained. “At the same time I had to leave to allow certain changes to take place. Honestly, I wanted to continue but like in football, if you are a player and you don’t fit in the pattern of the day, the coach will obviously not use you,” said Kemoeng on Friday afternoon. When pressed further on allegations of his poor relationship with Reikeletseng, a cagey Kemoeng responded, “Solly has been the chairperson of our committees and our relationship is good. I’m not sugar-coating anything.
We might have had our differences in the past but we need each other. At least that is my sentiment,” he concluded. An attempt to get comment from Reikeletseng proved futile as he said he was not aware of Kemoeng’s resignation as he is outside the country. On the issue of Robert, Serufho said the former Resource Mobilisation Manager resigned of his own freewill. This is contrary to allegations that Robert was forced to resign by BAYGOC due to misappropriation of funds.
It is alleged that the matter concerning the former Resource Mobilisation Manager is now in the hands of the police. “I cannot discuss issue relating to staff, but all I can tell Batswana is that if ever there is any wrongdoing, we will let the law take its course,” he explained. Meanwhile, Serufho said the resignations will not impact the committee’s games preparations that much as replacements has already been found. He said BAYGOC has already been seconded someone to take over the recently vacant COO post, adding that the new COO will be in office sometimes next week.