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Khama wins in Khawa despite failing to finish race

KHAWA: Riders and spectators at last weekend's Khawa quad bike race were shocked to see former President Ian Khama announced as one of the winners, despite failing to finish the race.

During the announcement at the ceremony, there was no overall winner but only three names were announced in no particular order including Khama’s.

Khama was the first racer to take off during this year’s Khawa Sand Dune challenge, at which President Mokweetsi Masisi and the first lady Neo Masisi were there to do the usual flag off. The race soon heated up and after the first round Khama was among the leading riders in position three. However, Khama never made it to the finishing point.

Everyone including Masisi himself waited at the finishing point but there was no sign of the former president and his bike. It is not clear what could have happened to Khama during the race. After the race that finished around 11am, the facilitators did not reveal the results but rather told the media that the results would be announced later that evening at the awards ceremony.

One of the race marshals who spoke on anonymity said initially she was supposed to announce the

results but recused herself because she did not want to be a part of the results manipulation. “I was told not to announce the riders’ times,” she said. She said a long meeting was held before the race.

Mmegi contacted the chief facilitator of the race Rose Maumaloukos who refused to comment about both the race and the results. “I cannot say anything up until my meeting tomorrow,” she said. Botswana Motor Sport facilitated the event but Maumaloukos said she was not part of the sport code but an independent official engaged only for the race. 

Botswana Motorsport leader, John Carr-Hartley said the Khawa Dune Challenge is a Botswana Tourism Organization event. “We only provided the licensing,” he said.

Even though the race is not used as qualifying event for any future race, riders were not happy about the issue as they spent their resources to take part in the event. Some riders from South Africa were spotted walking out after the results were announced.




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