Court to hear his case tomorrow – Monday
Francistown High Court Judge Justice Phadi Solomon will only hear a case in which suspended Francistown Regional Football Association (FRAFA) Secretary General, Isaac Mabuta is contesting his suspension tomorrow (Monday).
Mabuta dragged FRAFA’s affiliating body, Botswana Football Association (BFA) to court seeking its intervention. In his founding affidavit, Mabuta insisted that his suspension has political connotations.
“It is clear that letter (of suspension dated May 17, 2018) or move to suspend me is but a play to frustrate my chances of standing for regional elections,” Mabuta made the startling allegations against the country’s football governing body in his founding affidavit.
The football administrator has shown interest in challenging the current FRAFA chairperson, Maokaneng Bontshetse for the position of regional chairpersonship during its elective congress that was expected to be held yesterday (Saturday) in Francistown.
According to Mabuta, BFA and its agents, which he could not disclose in his filing affidavit, have tried tirelessly to frustrate him in an attempt to stop him from contesting elections.
Mabuta said just as he was about to go for elections after they were postponed, he was suspended. “It is crystal clear that there is an ulterior motive,” said Mabuta.
He was suspended after he allegedly failed to account for cash amounting to about P26 000 in the month of April this year. According to BFA, Mabuta deposited FRAFA funds amounting to P8 500 and an additional P9 900 into his personal account.
BFA is reading mischievousness on the part of the suspended football administrator following the deposition of the amounts into personal account. Furthermore, BFA has accused Mabuta of failing to account for an additional P7 600.
“The main qualm that the regional chairperson and the BFA have is that the funds were paid into my personal account. This I aver was for logistical reasons only and in fact those funds were for referees’ payments,” explained in his filing papers.
After failing to convince the BFA, Mabuta resorted to taking the matter to court. However, the matter that was scheduled for last Thursday was postponed to tomorrow, as the judge still wants to study the file better.
Endless efforts by Mabuta’s attorney, Mbinganyi Mhizha of Mhizha Legal to get the court issue an order to postpone the FRAFA elections fell on deaf ears. Mhizha also pleaded with the presiding officer to hand the matter to another judge but Solomon refused.
“We are in an awkward position now. The judge refused to at least issue an order to postpone the elections,” said a devastated Mhizha. Joseph Akoonyatse of Akoonyatse Law Firm represented the BFA.