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Legal action looms over karate elections

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Sparks continue to fly as the election date for Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) draws closer.

Last week it was the closing date for submission of names for candidates, but one of the contestants has been told he has no voting rights. Ryushin-Kan chief instructor, Keorapetse Dube said he had submitted his name to contest as a president.

The style has also submitted the name of Moses Tubego to challenge for secretary-general position. However, BOKA has written a letter to Ryushin-Kan informing them that they have been granted provincial membership status, which means they cannot be part of the elections.

The letter was written on July 16, 2020. “The membership is granted for a period of 12 months. The provisional members do not have voting rights during general meetings,” the letter reads in part.

Dube said if BOKA maintains he is not eligible to contest for elections, he wonders which position are they responding to, either as executive or opponents. “If it is the executive, they should respond to my letter because I wrote them a letter. I would then act on their response.

So far they have not responded and I would not put them under pressure. But after receiving the response, my legal team would act on it,” he said. Through a letter, Ryushin-Kan requested that responses from BOKA should be made in writing so that they could advise themselves on the way forward.

The letter further said BOKA refused the request to provide a written response. Dube said if one wants to contest for elections and their opponents bar them from contesting, they go to court. “We want free elections and according to the constitution. Only eligible affiliates are allowed to stand for

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positions and also vote,” he said. Dube said it would be unfair for the current president to block other contestants for fear of competition. He said the president came up with a strategy of blocking him from contesting. He said the president must allow people to challenge him. “I have asked the secretary-general to put his response in writing not a WhatsApp message. We have been BOKA members since 2013 and we do not owe any affiliation fee. I have constitutional rights to contest for any position,” argued Dube. BOKA secretary-general, Phineas Motseolapile said they wrote a letter to Ryushin-Kan granting them provisional membership. “The content of the letter are very clear. I wonder why he applied to contest for elections when he has seen what BOKA’s letter was saying. He even confirmed receiving our letter,” he said. When asked why they did not respond to the letter from Ryushin-Kan, Motseolapile said there was no need for that because the provincial letter covered everything. “The situation remains the same and I have advised him to talk to the president or vice president-administration. Our official stance is that Ryushin-Kan is a provincial member and that has happened to all members who have applied,” he said. Motseolapile said if Dube feels he wants to go to court, it is his right to do so. “BOKA has channels, but if he feels that he wants to elevate his issue and go to court it is up to him. BOKA conflict resolutions are clear and I am not aware if he has exhausted them,” he said.



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