Resignations, revolt as cycling wheels lock-up

Wheeling away: Cycling is facing challenges PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Wheeling away: Cycling is facing challenges PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) used to enjoy the peace away from the usual discontent prevalent at other sport homes, but that has changed dramatically as Staff Writer, CALISTUS KOLANTSHO turns his zoom lens on cycling in this instalment of Wither Botswana Sport

BCA president, Mmetla Masire is grappling with a revolt after three members of the executive committee resigned. The trio served Masire with their resignation letters on Sunday. Vice president Kagiso Molatlhwa, public relations officer Game Mompe and additional member Shimane Serameng have quit. This leaves Masire, Tlamelo Dube (secretary-general), Karabo Rasenyai (treasurer) and Shadrack Tirelo (additional member) as the only members of the committee. According to the BCA Constitution (Section 15.5.1) in the event three or more of the members are removed/resign from the office, the executive committee shall dissolve. Section 15.5.2 of the document further says the remaining members shall within 20 days of the date of the last removal, convene a special general meeting to elect a new executive committee.

The constitution states that when a member wants to resign, they should serve a month's notice. One of the resignation letters, simply states that Masire was aware of the reasons that led to the resignation. The resignation letters indicate that they have held several meetings as the executive trying to resolve some issues. It also points out they were unhappy about some things that were happening in the executive committee. The temperature has been rising for quite some time within the executive and the departed members once requested the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) to intervene. They had enough, hence the decision to quit. Responding to the resignations, Masire confirmed to the affiliates that he had received the three resignation letters. “This is a very unfortunate development.

I have not had an opportunity to talk to the three individually to see if they would reconsider withdrawing their resignations. However, at the end of the day I would respect their individual decisions,” he said in a statement. BCA had a scheduled Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday but the meeting failed to form a quorum probably an indication the affiliates were fed up with the leadership. The BCA elections are due next year September. In 2019, another AGM was not completed after the treasurer and presidential reports were not adopted. During the September AGM last year, the affiliates raised concerns about the differences within the executive.

The leadership was given four weeks to resolve the impasse. BCA secretary-general, Dube explained that during the 2020 AGM, the president and treasurer were given 14 days to update the reports and forward them to the affiliates. “The affiliates were also given 14 days to discuss the reports. After which a round-robin system was used to adopt them,” he said. Meanwhile, Dube said no reasons were advanced for the resignations. He said they would seek guidance from the Constitution on the way forward. When asked why the disgruntled members had sought BNSC's intervention earlier, Dube explained it was over the issue of the elite scholarship. Dube said he could not say the entire executive had a solid relationship. “I cannot say it was always smooth. There were instances when we differed in principle. But that did not mean we hated each other. It also does not mean that if we do not agree I should pull away,” Dube said. He said the postponement of the AGM did not raise eyebrows. Experienced cyclist Ediretse Ramahobo said cycling is in limbo. “Sport is opening and we were looking forward to action. Now there is no office.

We now have to shift focus onto setting up the administration,” he said. Ramahobo said they learnt about resignations but they are still waiting for the official announcement from BCA. He said if indeed the allegations are true, there is a need to prepare for a Special General Assembly. He said cycling national championships are due before the end of the year but by the way things are going, they might not see the light of the day. “We have enquired internally about the winds which are blowing around. Things happen internally without our knowledge. Maybe that is why we are in this situation,” Ramahobo said. He said the executive committee had a lot of time to sort out administrative issues when sport was suspended. David Lebalelo of Team Swift said the rift in the executive committee is disturbing.

“We thought we are going back to our cycling days since restrictions have been lifted. The resignations happened unexpectedly and now we are left to wonder what is next. As team Swift, we had planned to do international races and that could only be done with the blessing of the BCA,” he said. Lebalelo said they do not know how long it would take for the matter to be resolved. He said it is September and the competitions in South Africa are held in October and November, and they are concerned if they will get riding licenses.

Editor's Comment
Should COVID-19 Vaccination Be Compulsory?

This is after the easing of several restrictions when Botswana emerged from a State of Emergency at the end of September. The embargoes that were lifted included numbers of attendees at public gatherings.The move to ease restrictions revived the entertainment industry, which had come to a complete halt for a little over 18 months, and that is a long time not making a living.Musicians, promoters and support staff largely depend on festivals to put...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up