Journalists threaten Kabelano Cup blackout

Source of discontent: Journalist were not happy with the treatment received during the Kabelano Cup. PIC: KABO MPAETONA
Source of discontent: Journalist were not happy with the treatment received during the Kabelano Cup. PIC: KABO MPAETONA

The President of the newly formed Botswana Sports Writers Association, Leatile Mmutle has expressed his displeasure at the treatment meted out to journalists at the Kabelano Charity Cup.

Mmutle told Mmegi Sport that the organisers of the charity event, which took place last Saturday, do not value the media.

“The first problem was the disorganised sitting arrangement. We (media) were removed from our normal media centre, and scattered all over the place, which was not ideal for us to do our job in the best possible way. But after some negotiations with them the problem was solved,” he said.

Mmutle argued that this development is a clear sign that the organising committee disrespects journalists and their profession.

“This is lack of respect. It is happening for the third time in a row. It is not fair to us (media) looking at the kind of publicity we give to this event. The people from the (Kabelano) trust do not engage all stakeholders when preparing for the event.

If this kind of thing continues, we will blackout the event. It has happened before in other countries and we will not hesitate to boycott the event if the situation does not improve,” he said.

Kabelano Trust chairman, Terrence Dambe admitted that there was no pre-arranged sitting set-up for the media but after negotiations with sports journalists, the problem was solved.

“There was confusion in terms where the journalists should sit. It was an honest mistake which was later rectified,” he said.

Dambe insisted that he was not aware that the confusion had occurred before.

“ I was not aware that it has happened before. I only became aware that it has happened before when we negotiated with the media in trying to solve this. I believe this will not happen again as we have a post mortem of every event,” he said.  Dambe said although the security issue was also compromised.  However he acknowledged that there are limitations, which restrict them from having the level of safety they would want. On Saturday evening, all hell broke loose when Township Rollers’ fans invaded the pitch at the final whistle to celebrate their team’s 3-2 win over Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Tebogo Sebego expressed his disappointment over the incident.

“It was unacceptable. The safety of the players and officials was under threat. We are waiting for the match report from the officials and will take action on the matter from there,” he said.

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