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BGU presses ahead with P100m project

There are divisions over the development of the Gaborone Golf Club PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The future of a P100million project to develop the Gaborone Golf Club (GGC) remains uncertain as two sports bodies continue to wrangle.

GGC does not want the Botswana Golf Union (BGU) to proceed with the project, and even roped in former president, Ian Khama, to intervene. Khama, who is the club’s patron, had argued that no convincing reasons were advanced for the developments, which include an improved golf course, an academy and residential apartments.

But the BGU has said it is pressing ahead with the project, after arguing that Khama had been misled. GGC has been tenants at the club for years, but the lease was terminated in January to pave way for the development.

The club is operating on a temporary six-month lease. GCC captain, Martin Mogomela, in a curt response to Mmegi Sport, said they were not informed about the project.

“We do not know anything about the project,” he said, before hanging up. However, it said that some members support the project as they feel it can improve the sport.  “The club is not financially sustainable. It needs the project, however, it is people with selfish interest who are blocking the development,” said a source. BGU president, Enoch Mushango said there was confusion over Khama’s statements.  “There was an issue of disagreement over land use between Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and the club. Khama wanted to understand if he is being made a patron of GGC in order to stop the project. He said that he would not support the project if things were not done accordingly. He called for further consultation on the matter,” Mushango said. He said afterwards, he received a letter from BNSC, through the club, which had temporarily halted the cancellation of the lease.

“The letter was addressed to the BGU. It was scanned and had been shared with the members. The letter was saying termination of the

lease is put in ambiance. The BNSC could not confirm writing the letter,” he said.

Mushango said even today the source of the letter remains unknown. He said the project was never stopped. He said people who claimed that they had not been consulted, have since been engaged. “Nobody stopped this project. An aerial survey was done in November and a fortnight ago, the designers did another survey. This is a turnkey project,” he said.

Mushango said the project is part of the BGU’s strategy. He said GGC is one of its members and not the mother body. He said the land has been entrusted to the BGU. Mushango said the Union did not take the lease directly because it did not have the capacity. “BNSC does not deal with clubs but federations. The land is still entrusted to BGU and belongs to BNSC. Land use is going to change,” he said.

He said the project agreement is amongst BGU, developers and BNSC.

“To them that club is a livelihood. They said they are retrenching employees but that did not happen. I had told them that the lease will continue until June or even further. When we want them out, we will give them time to sort themselves out,” he said. Mushango said when construction starts, an announcement would be made. “The BNSC is aware of the chronology of events. We are not aware how far they are with the ministry (of sports),” he said.

Mushango said when the project starts, the first priority is the clubhouse and the golf course. He said every three months, three holes would be built until 18 holes are completed. He said they have been given an extra eight hectares moving towards the UB school of medicine.




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