The failed motion of no confidence on former Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Secretary General Legojane Kebaitse at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) a fortnight ago has come back to haunt the association. The BAA executive committee has been dissolved after four members resigned their positions. After a failed motion, Kebaitse decided to resign followed by BAA president Moses Bantsi and his deputy Rowland Masalila. Three of the four resignations are directly connected to the motion except that of the Public Relations Officer Charles Keikotlhae who tendered his resignation on Monday. Keikotlhae’s resignation did not come as a surprise to some BAA affiliates. He was co-opted into the executive recently and did not enjoy wide acceptance from the athletics family. Contacted for comment Keikotlhae said he resigned because he was put in an uncomfortable position by some affiliates who clearly did not want him to be part of the committee. According to the association’s constitution, Keikotlhae’s resignation moved the committee to dissolution. Section 12 of the constitution stipulates that should four members of the executive resign, the committee will automatically be dissolved and a fresh election called within 14 days. It is not the first time that a motion of no confidence has caused destabilisation at BAA as the same thing happened in 2014. At the time the affiliates called for a no confidence motion on the then president Thari Mooketsi. After the motion failed to pass some members of the executive committee resigned in numbers in what some said was a calculated move to oust Mooketsi. The provision of no confidence motion is therefore seen by some within the association as counter productivity.
A source close to the current committee lashed out at those calling for the motions, saying they are using it to their advantage. The source, who preferred anonymity, said this is always counterproductive as it leads to delay in advancing the association’s mission. “Some people are now using this provision to push their interests instead of that of the association and the nation,” said the source. This publication has learnt that a particular group within the BAA affiliates had wanted this. According to the source, the group went the AGM with a sole aim of removing the Secretary General (SG). Apparently they somehow knew that some members will not take it light and will choose to go with the SG. To some extent this corroborates what Bantsi said after he resigned. He said the moment he saw the motion of no confidence he made his decision that if the secretary general goes he will go as well. “When they call for motion of no confidence on the secretary general basically they are calling for no confidence on my administration. So there was no way that I could have stayed when the secretary general moved because of pressure from the affiliates,” said Bantsi. The source said whenever the group fall out with someone in the committee they mobilise other affiliates to push out the individual. According to the source it is this group that dictates who gets elected. He also revealed that it is because of this group that Keikotlhae resigned as they did not want him as part of the committee. To avoid all the problems in future BAA has been advised to scrap out the motion of no confidence from the constitution. A president of one of the associations advised that BAA should remove the motion of no confidence provision from its statutes. He said the provision also gave them a lot of problems at his association until they moved to removed it. He just like others is of the view that the motion causes a lot of disturbance and delays the association’s programmes.
In order to ensure continuity and progress Botswana National Sport Commission has been working with remaining BAA committee members to identify the way forward. BNSC Chief Executive Officer Falcon Sedimo said they have met with the remaining members twice this week to try and address the matter. Sedimo said members have agreed as per the constitution that a special meeting should be called. Even though he did not want to go into details about whether progress is being affected by the current situation Sedimo said the BNSC is doing everything in its power to help resolve the situation at BAA. “We are working closely with the remaining committee members and we have had two meetings with them this week to map a way forward,” he explained. He further clarified that everything will be done according to the association’s constitution. When commenting on the motion of no confidence, Sedimo said the affiliates are merely exercising their rights as per the constitution. He pointed out that since the association’s constitution has this provision there is nothing wrong with the affiliates to evoke it if they find it fitting. However what puzzles Sedimo is why the president and his assistant had to resign while the motion was not for them and that it had failed to pass.