The curious case of the altered BFA constitution

Contested: Clause 33.4 is one of the sections of the BFA constitution being disputed
Contested: Clause 33.4 is one of the sections of the BFA constitution being disputed

Is the devilish detail hiding somewhere in between the lines of the Botswana Football Association’s fine print? The Registrar of Societies will soon roll out the answers as the football nation awaits with bated breath to find out if the game’s supreme document - the constitution - could have been illegally tampered with, reports Staff Writer, MQONDISI DUBE

German architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is credited with the phrase, ‘the devil is in the detail or the fine print’. The proverb is largely used to urge caution on the need to pay particular attention to details. As the Botswana Football Association (BFA) prepares for its usual dose of a controversy-riddled poll, the election juggernaut could be stopped in its tracks by changes in the fine print. The supreme law of local football has come under the microscope amid claims the document was fraudulently altered. The Registrar of Societies has asked the BFA to ‘show cause’ why the association’s constitution should not be declared null and void. Last week, the office wrote to the BFA CEO, Mfolo Mfolo, requesting the mother body to demonstrate that changes to certain clauses were not a result of nefarious activities.

Mfolo, responding to MmegiSport inquiries last week, indicated that they were in receipt of the letter from the Registrar of Societies and they will respond in due course. The clauses that were reportedly tampered with, without the express approval of BFA delegates, relate to, amongst others, the association president’s term limits. According to the Registrar of Societies, which keeps records of registered societies’ constitutions, the alterations took place on December 10, 2019, and June 25, 2021. This means it has been three years at most, with the BFA submitting its returns and getting the document approved without detection of any anomaly. In 2021, Notwane Football Club, through its then president, Tebogo Sebego, raised a query with the BFA CEO regarding the amendments. Then, Notwane reminded the BFA that the duty of amending the constitution, as per Article 33.1, lies with the General Assembly. “We recently received a constitution dated 25th June 2021 stamped by the Registrar of Societies. The said constitution carries a number of changes that were never discussed and voted upon at the BFA General Assembly,” the Notwane letter reads.

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