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Kemoeng's two major tasks

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
New task: Kemoeng started work on Monday
Newly-appointed Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) deputy permanent secretary, Kitso Kemoeng has been given two major assignments.

He has to drive the merger between two sports bodies, the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC). The second major assignment would be to oversee the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations finals bid.

The merger between BNSC and BNOC, has in particular, gained traction in recent weeks.

Kemoeng was at the helm of BNSC for a lengthy period and discussions of a merger began during his time.

The former Botswana Football Association (BFA) official started work on Monday.

The recent appointment of Tuelo Serufho as BNSC acting chief executive officer, is also part of the plan to push through the merger. A source revealed that Cabinet has already green-lighted the decision to merge the two bodies as a cost-cutting measure.

But MYSC permanent secretary, Kago Ramokate denied Kemoeng was specifically recruited with the merger in mind.

“The merger has a project manager. Regarding the AFCON, I am not aware of that, he has a portfolio to manage and he must deliver on it,” Ramokate said. Meanwhile, the minister Tumiso Rakgare has called for the process to be expedited, even threatening to quit if the merger does not materialise. Rakgare told a recent BNSC Annual General Meeting (AGM) that he would ask President Mokgweetsi Masisi to transfer him to another minis-try.

“If the merge does not happen, I would request to be transferred to another ministry gore ke ye go phuthologa (so that I rest). The way we

have been

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operating does not bear fruits,” he said. Rakgare said the government wants to merge the two organisations, as the merger has been an issue that has been dragging for too long. Rakgare said it was up to the National Sport Associations (NSA) to decide but they must remember that previous administrators agreed to the merger. “We need to have serious conversation around this issue. Do we want to continue like this with less funding and less activities? Do you want to continue having BNSC and BNOC doing the same thing? Both of them have CEOs and employees,” he posed the questions to the NSAs. Rakgare said there is no consistency when it comes to athletes’ performance due to the current set up. “I plead with you to support this idea because if you want to focus ondevelopment then we need serious conversations on this issue. The merger is close to my heart,” he said.

Upon assuming office, Rakgare visited the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland accompanied by BNSC board chairperson, Morule Marumo and BNOC president, Colonel Botsang Tshenyego where the issue of a merger was further discussed. During the visit the delegation met with IOC president Thomas Bach.

According to information reaching Mmegi Sport, Bach gave the minister direction on how best the merger could proceed.



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