The looming Botswana Football Association (BFA) presidential election has stoked internal fires with some executive members cranking up pressure on the incumbent, Tebego Sebego.
It is said some members expressed displeasure that the president wanted “to play victim”.
Sebego has seen relations with some members of his executive deteriorate sharply in recent months amid growing speculation he is likely to face a challenger from within.
Authoritative sources close to developments said the president faces a make or break National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on December 7 where he faces possible grilling.
“There are issues with the on-going restructuring exercise where there is an overwhelming feeling that the president flouted internal procurement procedures. The NEC was in the dark about the awarding of a (P300,000) tender. The contract was concluded by one person and the whole issue was handled between the CEO (Kitso Kemoeng) and Sebego while other board members were excluded,” the source said. FIFA provided funds for the restructuring exercise.
The deep throat continued that while there were flaws in awarding the tender, Sebego and Kemoeng are under pressure since a company had already been identified and started work.
However, another source contended the explanation, arguing all was done above board. “There are some people with interests in that tender and they are the ones making the most noise.”
Sources said BFA vice president (finance, marketing and research), Marshlow Motlogelwa will prepare a report on the restructuring tender process to be presented before the next NEC meeting.
But Motlogelwa refused to comment on the matter, instead referring inquiries to Sebego. The BFA CEO, Kemoeng also referred inquiries to Sebego.
It is said the contractor began work on the restructuring exercise despite advice to the contrary from some NEC members.
Reports are that knives are being sharpened for the December 7 board meeting where Sebego might face a torrid time.
Additionally, Sebego is accused of failing to write former BFA vice president (administration), a dismissal letter.
“Instead, a junior employee was fired over the matter yet it was felt the president should have been the one handling the matter. The employee was made a sacrificial lamb,” said the source. Sources said the straw that broke the disgruntled NEC members’ back was Sebego’s reluctance “to consult”.
“They have been advising, but there is a feeling the president has lost the boardroom. If he can listen, he can be a good leader. But at the moment most of the issues are handled by only two men, the president and the CEO. Remember South Africa invited us over Tokyo Sexwale’s FIFA presidential ambitions. Sebego said he had gone to Cairo, why didn’t he delegate? At the moment, Sebego appears lost and does not want to adhere to simple governance issues. Marshlow has literally been running the show.”
The source further claims Sebego violated internal process during the interim engagement of All Kasi for Zebras matches recently.
Sebego said he was surprised there were dissenting voices within the committee. He however said he would remain strong.
“This is probably motivated by the (looming) presidential campaign. But we will remain strong and the law shall prevail,” he said last night.
But a Sebego ally within the executive committee dismissed the allegations levelled against the president.
“The matter concerning the restructuring tender had to be attended to as we risked losing FIFA funding. It was agreed that if there are any issues or complaints, they would be attended to later and if there are anomalies, internal disciplinary action would be taken. On the Tariq matter, they want to claim that Tariq did not know anything about the letter. Tariq never complained. Sebego wrote the letter and requested the secretariat to serve Tariq. I believe the president’s critics were excited at the mere mention of the letter. Actually, the dismissal of Tariq was part of a ploy because an investigation actually exonerated him. “Regarding the All Kasi issue, Marshlow was involved as he is in the sponsorship committee. He is the one who opted for All Kasi and Sebego supported the issue,” the official said. “Actually Sebego has not lost the boardroom, but he has lost them,” the ally said.