Where is the P30million Rre Khama?

21st February 2018
From me to you
Column

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By Joe-Brown -


Dear Thapelo Olopeng Let me first extend my warmest greetings to you Bra Tapza, after months of no contact with you. In case you are wondering, I have chosen to write you this brief because I am worried about the state of affairs occasioning in our sport, a portfolio Big Brother has since entrusted in you. To think that the ministry was once given to Vincent! Ao banna, Biggie le ene sometimes with his experiments! What was he thinking really? You see why I always see conspiracy in some of these ministerial appointments? I was sharing this concern with Unity recently, that she was loaded at that cursed education ministry to fail her and to make us forget about her heroic legal escapades against government.

I think Vinnyboy was also a victim of some form of conspiracy when he was dumped at your ministry where I feel he was a misfit. I always saw him as too corporate to be associated with culture, sport and youth issues. He was always out of place even at events he read speeches the content of which he probably didn’t even believe in. And then there was Gladys. Shem MmaKay wa Modimo! Tota ene the less said about her stint at the ministry the better. But talking about her, waitse tota it is true Batswana re lebala ka pele. Kana when MmaKay took the reigns at the sports ministry, she made a grand promise of P30 million for the premier league and first division players for their monthly allowances. That was in March 2009, and she was actually relaying a promise from Big Brother. Almost a decade later, and about 30 days before Biggie steps down, no such allowances have been paid to the players. I remember asking you Bra Tapza, to remind Biggie of that money. You have since ignored the matter. I doubt you even dared remind him of that promise he made - o mo tshabile!

Our clueless football leaders le bone have also been quiet on the matter. To think gore they have never even raised the matter anywhere? Yet they continue to wallow in poverty where players go months and years without getting paid! And now le wena you have chosen go ingwabaa ka kgang ya madi a teng seeing that the sport leadership never makes follow ups on anything. Nnyaa Tips, at least find a platform to discuss that money. A promise is a promise, and it is not always true that politicians’ promises are meant to be broken. I had really hoped you would become a better sports minister than Vinnyboy and MmaKay. But you disappoint me. Unlike these two, I felt you had the prerequisite qualities to fit. You are nimble and active - a trait of a sporty person. You are indefatigable and you talk too much - traits of a youthful person. And as for the arts and culture, o motho le mejemo – you like partying and deejaying. That is why the youth are so in love with you.

In their eyes, you are the best present they could ever get from Big Brother. But that is where my problem with you lies. You seem to have found refuge in youth issues and have since decided to subtly ignore sports. Tsone oa di etela. But I don’t blame you. Unlike the proactive youth and the arts people, our sports leaders lack initiative and they can never even advise you on anything, let alone be brave enough to hold you accountable for anything. All they care about, as you once said at some Mascom Top 8 Awards ceremony in the past, is themselves and what gets into their pockets. For them it’s all about backstabbing and mudslinging and there is never any progress where they lead. I still have vivid memories of my plea to you and that Solomon chap wa ko BNSC, to micro-manage our football segment, but I know you have chosen to keep your distance after they threatened you with that ‘government-interference-into-football-matters crap.

Yet the football continues to be on ICU. Come on Tapza, let’s be honest, has there been any positive changes at our football since you took over as the presiding minister? Lies, deceit, chaos and corruption are still the order of the day there, and recently your funds were used on a holiday to South Africa under the old guise of benchmarking. For the donkeyth time now we are benchmarking and looking for best practices, but there is never any decisive action. The Zebras have even been forgotten – the one thing in your ministry that used to unite Batswana. Go rile tuu, ka bone. All we have in football are settlements of old scores, greed, personal vendettas, jealousies, court cases and money laundering. Imagine, money laundering at a sport that is already broke, yet so extravagant!. I mean, how do you easily fail to host the money-spinning regional COSAFA Cup and say it is because you don’t have the meager funds needed to top up on what the organisers will spend? Yet officers there can afford to illegally pocket P500 000 meant for the development of the sport. Like the education ministry, I think football in Botswana is cursed, and you had better be keeping an eye on that enclave of your wider portfolio. I am particularly bothered by the dearth of excitement there. Look at the empty match venues. What used to be a stampede-inducing game between Gunners and Chiefs was recently a pathetic show of barrenness at the stands, and Gaborone derbies between Rollers and GU no longer tickle a fancy. And I still blame greed above all else.

People no longer care about sport but about themselves and what they gain. Where a true lover of sport sacrifices their all to aid, o tlaa utlwa boparo jwa the armchair and keypad leaders. Whenever a Good Samaritan comes to help their ailing institutions, they develop raucous voices and start claiming ownership or some history of some sort. Yet the person can’t lend even a thebe to the sporting cause. Batswana! I am reminded here of how the likes of Molome were spat out of the Magosi stable, how they were booed and booted out for holding their team together financially. He is gone and the team is suffering. They did that too to Geoff at Tafic – since he left, the team has never known financial peace. Look at what they have been doing to Rapz at Gaborone United. Yo ene mme ke moipolai yoo sa lelelweng. I remember warning him some time in May of 2016 to take a backseat from trying to please people who were only using him. He didn’t listen to me. Where is he now? What has he gained from staying that long in football?

These diparo at football are thankless Bra Tapza. They will drain you dry and spit you like you never existed. Look at how they spat Somi at Rollers after investing in them ba le ko leroleng. He even brought them your BDP moneyman Jagdish although he would then take over. Yet they also tried it on him as well and failed. GU did it to Zac. They even instituted court cases where they claimed ownership of the club. Where are they now as the club is suffering? BPL did it to Ben. BFA did it to Mara. At home they did it to a bosom brother of mine, SB, who through his hard-earned resources saw to the rise of the once fierce Mokgosi Young Fighters. He took them to the elite league and they played the Coca-Cola cup final against Notwane at a packed stadium. They also dumped him in similar fashion, and now Mokgosi, once the pride of Ramotswa, has gone into extinction.

I see such tendencies developing at Notwane where Mara is again trying to help. They have started to question his credentials as their President. Akere now they are up there. I wish he could quit now, with everything he owns and has put into the team, and see what will remain of the club. I also wish Rapz had quit GU the time I advised him to. He wouldn’t be in this mess right now. Like all the others, he is now left to pick up the pieces of what is left of his company which he gave little attention while serving thankless football people. Do they even care he is gone?

Now they are trying to rope back a man they chased away in the first place. Hypocrites! And this is why Bra Tapza, I want you to come in and initiate dialogue on expediting Big Brother’s dream of commercialized football. A deliberate effort needs to be done in collaboration with your colleagues, Batshu and Sadique, to find ways of making it easy for the rich and able of this country to own these clubs. This society thing in our sport is taking us nowhere. People who put money into these teams can’t even follow their own roadmaps to profitability, because some losers will be waiting on the wings to say ‘that’s our team.’ Those who went on a benchmarking mission should start with the issue of ownership.

All PSL clubs where they benchmarked are privately owned, hence their success. We can no longer allow ourselves to be held at ransom by attention seeking people who have nothing profitable to offer. I beg you Bra Tapza, look into this matter and find ways to make it less cumbersome for these clubs to be taken up by the many millionaires in this country. That way, our football would even help grow our economy. Serious multimillion sponsors want to associate with entities they can trust, not metlae e ya mo gae.




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