'Gov't cannot dictate who we employ'


Stung by minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama’s criticism last week, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has said it does not expect government to dictate who the association employs.

Responding to Mmegi Sport enquiries, BFA president, Maclean Letshwiti said while there is nothing wrong with receiving a courtesy call, it would be unfortunate if the government were involved in the day-to-day running of the association’s affairs.

FIFA forbids government’s interference in the running of football matters, and has not hesitated to sanction transgressing countries.

“We cannot have the government forcing the BFA to employ their preferred candidates. The lanes are clearly demarcated. Many other countries stand as an example of the dire consequences of government interference. We cannot allow it to happen in our country as it will be of a great injustice to football,” Letshwiti said. He said as BFA, they are aware that the government funds football and therefore needs accountability and transparency.

“They need the transparency of the BFA, so they are aware where their money is being spent and good corporate governance is one of my most critical objectives for the association. There is nothing wrong with receiving a courtesy call and being checked in by the government in terms of how the BFA is operating,” Letshwiti said.

He said there has been no deviance reported to FIFA, “nor has FIFA made an independent investigation into malpractice.”

“If FIFA were to receive notification of interference it would be very unfortunate and the right control measures will be taken,” Letshwiti said.

Khama, talking to Mmegi Sport last week, said he had a plethora of concerns regarding BFA’s modus operandi. This includes the hiring of a South African technical director, Letsoaka Serame, after complaints from the local coaches association, as well as terminating All Kasi’s contract in favour of Umbro.

But Letshwiti made it clear that they had adhered to the best governance practices and complied when terminating the All Kasi contract as well as hiring Serame.

“The process of the BFA hiring external individuals has always followed the correct due process. As you are fully aware, global brands have always engaged external members who are believed to add value to the organisations,” he said.

Regarding running for a second term, Letshwiti said the people would decide, and that it was unfair to blow his own trumpet when asked about his achievements.

After promising to create 5,000 jobs during his campaign for football’s top job, Letshwiti said that was on track.

“As you are aware, jobs are created both directly and indirectly. With the ENOS academy, and other future projects in the pipeline, we may even exceed that number. It’s not about having 5000 people directly working at Lekidi.

“Forms of employment are casual, temporary, contract and permanent and pensionable. We have achieved that to some extend when we were constructing the artificial turf, coaches and assistant coaches have been hired for elite youth league teams,” he said.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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