Trouble brewing for BOMU interim committee

Artistes have threatened to sue the current stand-in committee for what they term maladministration and abuse of office
Artistes have threatened to sue the current stand-in committee for what they term maladministration and abuse of office

Tension seems to be brewing at Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) after members expressed unhappiness with the Union’s interim committee.

Members, mostly artistes have threatened to sue the current committee for what they term maladministration and abuse of office. The committee has been at the helm since August 2018.

Its chairperson, Taolo Moshaga was appointed last year after the council of arbitration nullified the election of the then committee and ordered its dissolution following allegations against the music body leadership laid by one Phemelo Lesokwane and others before the council of arbitration.

Lesokwane and others had argued that the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which ushered in the then committee led by Pagson Ntsie was held in accordance with the union’s constitution.

The council ordered that an interim committee be elected to amongst other things rebuild legitimate structures of BOMU, the relationships within the organisation and with its stakeholders, arrange for another AGM and prepare for legitimate elections. However, another tension within the union seems to be brewing as members have taken to social media to express their frustrations.

According to the members, the interim committee has not acted on its mandate and has over-stepped its territory as it is already preparing for BOMU Awards without consulting artists. It is said that the awards are scheduled for end of January. Renowned music promoter, Gilbert ‘PP wa Pimp’ Seagile told Arts & Culture that the interim committee has not consulted with artistes as it was directed to do as part of mending relations within the Union.

Speaking on behalf of the concerned members, Seagile said members have learnt that the committee is preparing for BOMU Awards to be held at the end of the month, which is short notice for artistes. “It is quite crazy how they expect BOMU awards to be held at the end of the month when they have not mobilised members. They have been mandated to rebuild the Union and prepare for elections to be held in July or August, but are already preparing for awards while there is still crisis within the Union,” he said.

He said the timeframe would not allow for processes such as nominations and voting.

He said the interim committee was in the process using the name of President Mokgweetsi Masisi to legitimise its selfish actions. “They are going around telling other stakeholders that His Excellency will grace the awards ceremony, which is wrong. BOMU should not do any activities until it has sorted out  its crisis and elected a substantive committee. There are no proper structures to handle the awards,” he added.

Seagile indicated that they are prepared to take the matter to court if they are not listened to. For his part, Moshaga dismissed this as a ploy by some people to destabilise the Union.

“Things are currently running smoothly as we were appointed to steady the ship. I know there is just a group of artistes who are not even members of this Union who want to cause instability. But we are saying they should handle their businesses and let us do our mandate,” he said.

Moshaga said that rebuilding BOMU is a process that needs time. He added that they are consulting stakeholders regarding the BOMU Awards ceremony.

“Artistes need to understand this. They should be disciplined and concentrate on running their businesses. They should mature. I know it’s a few individuals who had contracts with their friends in the previous committee. We don’t manage artistes, but they should stop this and concentrate on their businesses. We have volunteered to help,” he added.

Moshaga said BOMU members with complaints should formalise them procedurally. He stated that the union is on course to recover from its previous internal issues.

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