Is Sebego really being sabotaged?

As Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Tebego Sebego’s first term in office draws to a close, the propaganda machine is being rolled out. Already, there is talk by some that the president is being sabotaged.

The question is: Really? What if he is doing a good job? Another question is: Is it really sabotage or a difference of opinion on adherence to corporate governance.

Unfortunately, people who are accused of such dastardly acts either by insinuations or implied have no forum to defend themselves and could be said to be guilty as charged. But what really is sabotage?

My research indicates that sabotage, which is a French word from saboteur is a deliberate obstruction of a normal operation or a deliberate attempt to damage/hinder a cause or activity. Put the other way, it is any undermining of a cause, plan or effort.

In an interview with a local radio station last week, Sebego did allude to the fact that sometimes he gets frustrated that things take long to be implemented or done and that he may be forced to use his powers to have things done.

Unfortunately, he did not say where the delay was coming from and why and whether it was from the secretariat or his executive. But I wonder why he would exonerate himself from his executive because I tend to think that the executive takes decisions as a collective and any differences of opinion should remain within the confines of the boardroom.

Having followed previous BFA elections, the people who are always caught in the cross fire together with their institutions is the journalist and the media. Because of personal preferences, the truth and objectivity get sacrificed for expediency. I mean judging by the interview, both on print and electronic the picture that is being put across is that only the president has the interests of the association at heart while the other committee members have got other ulterior motives. The painful thing is that those being accused have nowhere to defend themselves and curiously the president did not say he has the full backing of his executive.

My investigation however unearthed an uneasy relationship between Sebego and other executive committee. Some of them want strict adherence to procedure. The accusation being labelled at Sebego is that “o batla dilo di dirwa sepantsula.”

 This would imply that he wants to take short cut to things that require due diligence and perhaps that’s where the ‘sabotage’ connotation comes from.

Interestingly, Sebego reportedly enjoys the support of two big tycoons who run some of the biggest football brands in the country and it is believed they could sponsor his campaign.

My appeal to the media is not to sacrifice the truth for expediency, but to be as objective and professional as possible.

I would, however, be interested to know why the president seems to be at variance with his colleagues in the executive. For too long he has been fire-fighting even with some of the previous committee members, which means may be he has to introspect as well. With the appointment of Kitso Kemoeng as chief executive officer, I am convinced that the association has the right person.

This is evidenced by the performance of the senior national soccer team, the Zebras. Ever since he came on board, the Zebras camp has been anything but stable. Equally, there seem to be some discipline within the secretariat. The challenge could remain with the executive.


Commercial Blue Print

Last week one of the long-time financiers of club football in Botswana, Maclean Letshwiti of Mochudi Centre Chiefs threw a salvo at the BFA executive. Letshwiti accused the mother body of ineptness in as far as having a guideline on football privatisation or commercialisation in Botswana.

 In answering and defending his association, Sebego snapped back saying the clubs themselves are to blame for doing things in a hush-hush without consulting the mother body.

In my view, the association cannot come up with a blue print but rather the onus is on the clubs to brainstorm and workshop the modalities. Blaming the mother body is akin to abdicating ones responsibility because clubs have all the rights and platforms where they can push this agenda.

For years clubs have always shifted the blame for their shortcomings yet my belief is that it is the club that can change or direct the executive on what to do.

The unfortunate thing is that club administrators do not share or discuss ideas where they have common interests, but each wants to upstage each other.

I mean not long ago Gaborone United was being regarded as a model of professionalism and forward thinking, but gloves are now off as there is a fierce fight for the control of the club. At Township Rollers, it is the same thing and so is at Chiefs.

As for Extension Gunners I am lost for words. The club has a tendency of being stable for only four or six months, the other months are always reserved for infighting.

If it’s not about the chairmanship, it is about the coach or the players. Already, Kitso Dlamini has been forced to resign and apparently some of the supporters want to know why he fired former coach, Keitumetse Pio Paul. Poor Daniel ‘Chico’ Nare is now walking a tight rope and this is compromising his coaching acumen.

But back to the commercialisation issue, the big clubs ought to brainstorm/workshop the modalities for it is the club that knows exactly what is required.

The basic duty of the association’s executive is development and training of office cadres and off course looking after the various national teams. The Premiership as the embodiment of professional football ought to come up with regulations/ideas governing the commercialisation of football in the country.

I would therefore challenge clubs to instil discipline within their rank and file who at times hold the executive to ransom. The club officials also need to be honest and open with their members than holding back certain key information. Too many internal fights retard progress.

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