The National Sport Associations (NSA) are moving to clip the Botswana National Sport Commission’s (BNSC) wings, as they deem the secretariat to wield more power than the affiliates.
This comes ahead of the BNSC Act review, which is expected during the next annual general meeting in July. The NSAs feel there is a lot of interference from the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama.
Botswana Golf Union (BGU) president, Enoch Mushango expressed concern over Khama’s interference, which renders the Ministry’s permanent secretary ineffective.
“MYSC permanent secretary has always been irrelevant and now he does not exist. BNSC is mute since the departure of Solly Reikeletseng, although he had his weaknesses. The minister acts on hearsay. He has to listen and not investigate himself. His interference is misguided,” he said. He said it was high time the BNSC Act is reviewed, as at the moment, NSAs are powerless.
“We cannot call a meeting except by petition. The agenda is predetermined and fixed,” Mushango said.
He said the review of the Act was long overdue, adding that the process had not started but will involve deliberations at different forums, before the final decision is made.
Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) public relations officer, Isaiah Ramontshonyana said the secretariat has more powers than NSAs and the whole structure is skewed.
“The act must be reviewed because we cannot have an annual general meeting (AGM) being a talk shop where only reports are presented. It should be a decision-making activity. The way things stand, the secretariat makes decisions for us,” Ramontshonyana said.
He added that sport associations are now servants of the Act and that is wrong. Ramontshonyana said in moments where NSAs submit requests for funding, the secretariat must act like a bank, give out the money not to refuse or reduce the amount required.
“Right now, there are allegations that the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) has intentions to regulate sport, but that is impossible because BNSC has been given that mandate,” he said.
“It is the only sport regulator in the country. We cannot have two elephants in the room. Those are some of the things we must look into.”
Ramontshonyana said that also affects issues of accountability. He said government funds BNSC and the Commission is always expected to account. However, the same thing cannot happen with BNOC because it is illegal under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations.