18th April 2017
KARATE Source:The Midweek Sun

The Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) affiliates are expected to go into their weekend Annual General Meeting as a divided lot.

Despite recent international successes including the 2016 Zone 6 championship, the association is said to be at loggerheads as influential BOKA members are currently in a raging war for control of the national karate governing body. According to highly placed sources, BOKA   elders are wrestling for control of the association and the association skeletons are expected to tumble at the elective AGM scheduled for The Big 5 Lodge in Mogoditshane this Saturday.

At the centre of the controversy is the shocking return of presidential candidate Tshepo Bathai, the former BOKA president who was unceremoniously ousted some two years ago, after affiliates tabled a motion of no confidence following poor performance from his executive committee.

“What is surprising is that the same af filiates who tabled a motion of no confidence against Bathai are the ones that are backing him to win the presidency,” a highly-placed source said this week.  “Bathai will be contesting against Mpho Bakwadi for the presidency and he has a realistic chance of winning given that BOKA elders have thrown their weight behind him.”

Sources say there are two powerful BOKA elders who have been involved in a raging    political Kumite and they are willing to do anything to frustrate one another at the expense of athletes. “One of these forces is driving Bathai’s campaign and once he (Bathai) takes   power, these individual will be pulling the strings.

The problem with BOKA and local sports federations in general is that people put personal   interest ahead of development.”  Sources say BOKA consists of two powerful confederations being Hayashi Ha and Kofukan as these clubs provide just fewer than 90 percent of national team athletes. However, this internal wrangling results in smaller federations taking over BOKA.

“It is surprising that BOKA has not secured a big sponsor given the results we have been bringing from international games. Smaller and less successful sport codes   have found more success secure sponsor while BOKA has only medals to show their success.”  The source was quick to point out that BOKA elders who are often praised with helping to build the associations are to blame for the lack of success in bringing corporate companies on board.

Among burning issues on the BOKA agenda will be the amended clauses in the constitution and the elections for a new executive committee. The AGM will see Lere Basupang taking on Sam Dire for the position of Vice President Admin while Union Kgafela will be unopposed for the position of Vice President Technical.
Kgosietsile Dibotelo will face Phineous Motseolapile for the Secretary general post while Bose Caiphus will face Pule Kwelagobe for vice secretary general. The position of secretary general will pit Kemmonye Seletamotse against Mothusi Tsime while Isaiah Ramontshonyana is unopposed for public relations officer.

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