As the Botswana Football Association (BFA) elective congress nears, Police XI chairman Solomon Mantswe has entered the Presidential race. Mantswe formally announced his intention on Monday alongside his running team. The team is made up of Dixon Gabanakgosi, Gabriel Ngele, Theresa Hirschfield, Kenalekgotla Sebolao, Oathusa Baoke and Kgatho Motai. Mantswe said their strategy is based on introducing progressive governance and administrative reforms at the BFA. He said people should accept that the world has changed, together with methods of governance. He insisted that they coming to improve on what has been achieved by those that came before them. “My team and I do not claim to know it all, nor do we claim to readily have all solutions for the problems be-devilling our football today. But instead we wish to present a credible alternative to all football lovers in Botswana,” Mantswe said, reiterating that their strategy will be to introduce a more contemporary approach to football and governance issues.
They want to build BFA with standards similar to a public sector organisation where transparency and accountability are a priority. Mantswe is also a senior Police Officer holding a position of Director of Administration. He believes that his accessibility and knowledge of the game of football and willingness to debate issues should appeal to everyone to vote for him. However some within the footballing fraternity feel that he might not be a worthy leader following allegations of the team he chairs being linked with match-fixing. Others also recalled the past instance where Police XI failed to meet BFA requirements a few years ago when it could not pay for affiliation fees. They said this make his leadership questionable. Responding to this Mantswe said people should know that mistakes are bound to happen in life and argued that they should not be judged on the little mistakes that they made a long time back. He said they have been able to work around the problem to rectify it and today they are even competing at highest possible level.
On the issue of Police XI having a case to answer for match fixing, he simply dismissed it; saying all he knows that is an allegation. “As far as I am concerned that is just an allegation. No one ever wrote to us telling about the charge or informing us about the ruling. As a result I believe that I have done nothing wrong; why should I be victimised for an allegation,” quizzed Mantswe.