Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti has said there is no conflict of interest or lack of impartiality after he was recently appointed as Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) board chairperson. BTC sponsors the local league with the BFA, as the mother body, responsible for negotiating the deal.
Letshwiti said he did not find anything wrong with holding the dual roles after there were concerns that the arrangement is untidy.
“There is no conflict of interest. A consultant together with our marketing team handle sponsorship negotiations. Negotiations are done at operational level. What comes to the board is recommendations. I am volunteering on both sides with no financial benefit. People must show where the conflict of interest is,” Letshwiti said.
He said in any case, he could still recuse himself in matters where impartiality might be compromised. Letshwiti said, again the sponsorship deal is already in motion. BTC signed a three year extension two seasons back worth P30 million with the deal due to expire next year. Sponsorship negotiations are expected to resume shortly.
“As far as I am concerned, there is no conflict of interest. By and large conflict of interest implies financial benefit. The
But still questions will linger as to which hat Letshwiti would wear during sponsorship negotiations or any other exchange involving the two entities. “What if there is a lawsuit, where does Letshwiti stand? If he recuses himself, it will be from which position; as BFA president or BTC board chairperson? It is an arrangement that can easily lead to perceptions.
He should have turned down the nomination. There is a lot of movement of money, strategic decisions and influence between BTC and BFA.
What will happen when there is a competing sponsor keen on replacing BTC?” queried a concerned football stakeholder. BTC public relations manager, Golekanye Molapisi said the company had structures to deal with any conflict of interest matters. “BTC has governance structures in place to deal with any conflict of interest matters,” he said.