Botswana Tertiary Student Sports Association (Botessa) is currently swimming in a debt of close to P1.5 million which was incurred from hosting of the Confederation of Universities and Colleges Sports Association games (CUCSA) last year. This has been confirmed by the association’s spokesperson Duncan Segabo, who said they are still trying to pay up the debts. CUCSA games were held in Gaborone on June 18- 22 last year featuring various sporting codes with ten Southern African countries in attendance.
Although the games were successfully held, the weeklong event has left Botessa battling with some debts. According to Segabo, they still owe Curry Pot for catering food for athletes and officials during the games an amount of P1 003 981.83 while University of Botswana is owed P634 000 in accommodation fees. UB was used as the athletes’ village throughout the games with some of its sporting facilities also utilised.
“We have not yet paid the two institutions fully but we are currently negotiating with some of our stakeholders to assist us to clear the remaining debts. We have at some point tried to reduce the arrears and paid a certain amount to the two organisations. Our CUCSA finances were audited and we presented the reports and as such we are optimistic that soon we might get help to clear the debts,” said Segabo.
Initially the games had a budget of P5.5 m but Botessa only managed to obtain a P3 million grant from Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology which means they were left with a P2.5 million deficit. Due to lack of sponsorships for the games, the remaining balance was never sourced which means the tertiary sports body had to readjust all to fit within the P3 million budget but it was not possible.
When asked what might have contributed immensely to the debts Segabo said, “Not all the details can be shared but some countries which were to attend the games did not come and others came with a lesser number of athletes and mind you we signed contracts with some service providers which unfortunately could not be reversed when all these events were happening which meant that we had to pay them for the services we had booked from them. We had to change some venues and resort to using UB Sports Arena. We also had an outbreak of diarrhea and urgently had to put some strategies in place to contain the disease which included 100% provision of bottled water. This came at a cost to the association,” said Segabo.
Meanwhile Botessa is scheduled to host a special Annual General Meeting on February 22 where affiliates will elect a new president following the resignation of Hebert Letsebe last year. Nominations for presidential candidates closed on Friday and names of those interested in the post are expected to be released anytime soon before commencement of campaigns.