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Tennis boss accused of vote rigging

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Fichani. PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) president, Dr Khaulani Fichani is accused of plotting to rig the upcoming elections on August 31, 2019.

BTA elections are usually not far from controversy, with intense fighting characterising the 2017 polls, which saw the end of Nelson Amanze’s 17-year rule.  Fichani is seeking a second term, but his deputy, Oaitse Thipe has raised his hand to challenge for the position.

 Fichani is said to have deliberately revived dormant clubs; Thebephatshwa, Sir Seretse Khama Barracks, Eastern Military Garrison in Selebi-Phikwe and Francistown Donga, in order to get their votes.

“BDF teams, except Donga, have not been paying affiliation fees for some time and we were surprised when we learnt that they have been advised to pay so that they can be part of the elections,” a source said. The source further said there was a point when Donga wanted to leave BDF and be independent. The source said the Registrar of Societies has registered the said clubs and it means they have to reapply if they want to be active again. The BTA constitution does not recognise clubs that fail to pay their affiliation fee. “We have taken the matter (up) with

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Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC). We have tried to go against Fichani’s decision, but he is hell bent to make sure those clubs are there to vote for him,” the source added.

“We want the elections to be fair to both candidates and clubs. Fichani wants to bulldose us, but we will not allow that to happen.”

Fichani told Mmegi Sport that he was aware of the allegations against him.

“There has been a mistake and I tried to rectify it in silence. BDF has four clubs under its belt and at the Registrar of Societies they are recognised as BDF. They are not registered as individual clubs and they exist as BDF clubs so we cannot say we recognise one club. If there is an issue around those clubs it should be addressed at the annual general meeting (AGM),” he said.

Fichani said it would be unprocedural to de-recognise any existing affiliate. When asked if the BNSC had engaged him on the allegations against him, Fichani said they have not yet made contact.



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