Businessman Nicholas Zakhem has advanced in his move to join Gilport Lions as a shareholder by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the club. Zakhem confirmed the developments on Friday afternoon, meaning that he had officially left Gaborone United, a club he has been funding for the past few years. He said after concluding the on-going due diligence and feasibility study he will become a shareholder at Gilport Lions. “We are still doing due diligence and feasibility so I cannot say right now. However, I am hoping everything will be finalised by end of October,” he said.
Ownership squabbles at Gaborone United appear to have forced him to leave. “I have chosen Gilport Lions because the team is run as a company and the other thing is that Gilika is my long-time friend,” he answered. According to him, it will be much easier to deal with a team that is already operating as a business. In a number of cases there have been instances in local football where in society run teams elected officials clash with investors over the decisions they make. This has been evident at big teams such as Township Rollers, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and GU.
Zakhems’ move to Gilport Lions raises questions about what will happen to Gaborone United arrangement in which he has agreed to sponsor the club to a tune of P1m this coming season. Zakhem insisted that this arrangement shall stand even as he joins another team. “I am only sponsoring GU for the 2016/2017 season and that is it,” he said. The businessman, who has invested a lot of money in not only in football but is Botswana sport, said the time has come to see growth in sport. He said there is need for more participation from the private sector to develop the game of football. “Development is crucial for success of the game. More sponsors are needed for the league so that the teams can get more grants for developments,” said Zakhem. He said football should be able to attract more spectators to the grounds. Efforts to contact Kelesitse Gilika for comment on Zakhem’s move to his team were unsuccessful as his phone could not be reached.