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BOKA at loggerheads over referees allowances

Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) is at loggerheads with match officials over unpaid allowances from the national team selection tournament held in March.

While referees insist that they are owed undisclosed sums, BOKA president, Tshepo Bathai has dismissed the claim. One referee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was the first time that they had experienced a lengthy delay in their payments.

“We are normally paid our allowances immediately after a tournament. When the selections started at regions we were paid, then things changed when we went for junior team selection. It was two rounds. We were not paid for the final and the senior team selection,” the source said.

The official said they are supposed to be paid P300 per tournament and also given transport fee.

He said some referees are owed allowances for the junior team selection tournament.

However, BOKA president denied that referees are owed. “I am not aware of that issue.

Which events are you talking about because there were six of them? We also do not pay transport allowances as suggested by your source. Even myself I never get transport allowance for any official duty,” Bathai said.

Bathai said officiating allowance that referees get is not standard and it is at the discretion of BOKA to pay or not. He said officiating is done on voluntary basis.

But despite Bathai’s denial, the Referees Commission chairperson, Boston Rakgampu said there was a delay in payments due to

a hold up in the release of BOKA grant from the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC). Rakgampu said he has informed referees that they would be paid next week. When informed about Bathai’s denial, Rakgampu was not impressed.

“Sometimes Bathai does not know how to handle issues.

He is wrong to suggest that referees do not get allowances. Allowances for officiating have always been there.

I spoke to him this week and he informed me that the allowances would be released next week,” Rakgampu said.

Meanwhile, Bathai said he has given the Referees Commission a booklet that deals with their welfare.

“I have given the Referees Commission my documented suggestions in the form of BOKA Officiating Booklet.

The document covers their welfare. I am still waiting for their input.

I had given them a month to complete the process but it has been over a year now.

The document also talks about referees’ development,” he said.

Bathai said currently there is nothing on record regarding referees. Rakgampu said the initial Referees Commission was not active.

He said BOKA has not invited the new Referees Commission for a meeting where they could share ideas.

“A few officials have the BOKA Officiating Booklet. It is something that is still far from being completed. We have not started working on it,” Rakgampu said.




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