Decision time as BAA goes to the polls


The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) will hold the long awaited executive committee election tomorrow.

BAA has faced a tough few months, and it would be interesting to see how affiliates vote, with incumbent president, Thari Mooketsi, throwing his name in the hat for re-election.

The elections are being held under the new constitution that would usher in new positions of three vice presidents (technical, administration and finance) and four coordinators. The coordinators are representatives of the four regions across the country.

The general manager, who is going to be appointed by the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), will take the role of general secretary and also work with vice president finance and administration. 

The position of public relations officer has been removed. Mooketsi faces a stiff battle from Diamond Trading Company’s internal auditor, Paphane Botlhale.

Mooketsi has had to cling to his position for dear life, surviving a motion of no confidence, and public dress down by the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama.

The mood on the ground indicates that the affiliates are ready to take out Mooketsi’s committee.

Mooketsi told Mmegi Sport that there is still a lot he wants to do for the association.

“All I am asking for is four years to complete my plans. At the moment, we have created partnership with many organisations such as Region 5 and Confederation of African Athletics-Southern region. That makes our countries attractive to athletes from other countries to have interest in our events,” he said.

Mooketsi said BAA hosted the first cross-country championship final early this year and Botswana was one of the 24 countries in six continents to host IAAF Run 24-1 initiative.

“There are some policies that people are scared to implement such as code of conduct and finance. Given a chance, I am going to implement them because we cannot continue to work in a hap hazard manner,” he said.  Mooketsi admitted that BAA is faced with challenges such as finance. 

He said the issue of dwindling funds is not limited to the BAA, but to other National Sport Associations (NSAs) as well.

He said NSAs should approach the BNSC to come up with ways of generating funds.  Regarding BAA secretariat, which is yet to be set up, Mooketsi said it would not benefit the association.

“The secretariat is not going to benefit us because it reports to the BNSC. We would not have control over it. It was going to be proper, only if the secretariat reported to the BAA board,” he said.

For his part, Botlhale said he decided to challenge for the BAA top position, as it is a way of giving back to the society.

He said it is also a way of assisting to nurture talent, governance and improve financial accountability.

“Some of the immediate issues that I would tackle include accountability and resuscitation of structures.

There should also be a code of conduct for both officials and athletes,” he said.

Botlhale said as a way of improving the image of BAA, there should be re-engagement with key stakeholders and formalisation of collaborations with them.

“Sponsors want accountability and mileage.  BAA is already a big brand and I would demonstrate that to potential sponsors through my proposals. I would talk more about my financial strategy as soon as I get the power,” Botlhale said.

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