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Gov't stays out of BFA 'wars'

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Staying away: Ramokate says the BFA campaigns are democratic and within set standards PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development permanent secretary, Kago Ramokate says they cannot intervene in the 2020 Botswana Football Association (BFA) Presidential Elections, as that would be treated as government interference.

The campaign battles for football’s highest seat recently reached fever pitch, with the vetting out of two presidential hopefuls, Tebogo Sebego and Ookeditse Malesu.

Opposing camps also challenged sitting president, Maclean Letshwiti’s candidature. The BFA events have attracted much publicity as the association prepares for a crucial election on August 22.

When appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which had raised concern over the turn of events at the BFA, Ramokate said they are aware but could only watch as things unfold. Ramokate said while the campaigns have intensified and there being attempts by interested parties to get the upper hand, the ministry is barred from intervening. The government official explained that the BFA elections are very competitive and democratic. Ramokate stated that despite all that is happening, he appreciates that the BFA statutes and processes are being followed.

“BFA has

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its statutes, which explains how the elections should be conducted or any change of executive should be undertaken. We have interested parties who are standing for those positions,” Ramokate said.

“They are elections in [a] true sense and [are] competitive. There are attempts by parties to get the upper hand, but as long as they stick to what the statute says, then they are transparent. As long as they follow the procedures, that should be okay.”

Ramokate explained that although there is no salary associated with the BFA executive positions, the positions are prestigious and internationally recognised.

According to PAC members, the BFA elections’ atmosphere presented to be undemocratic for some parties, especially when some candidates are vetted out on the eve of elections.

The members also wondered why the elections were highly contested despite the lack of monetary incentives.



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