On the eve of the Botswana National Olympic Committee’s (BNOC) presidential elections, a clear favourite has failed to emerge.
All five candidates in the presidential race have a realistic chance of winning Saturday’s vote and succeeding Negroes Kgosietsile at the BNOC’s helm.
The quintet includes: former Botswana Football Association Chief Executive Officer, Ookeditse Malesu; BNOC Vice President, Botsang Tshenyego; Botswana Volleyball President, Daniel Molaodi; former Olympic boxer, France Mabiletsa and the only female candidate, Botswana Netball Association and Africa Netball president, Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego.
The five took part in a debate on Tuesday night, where they presented their manifestos in a last-ditch bid to convince BNOC affiliates to vote for them.
In his speech, Molaodi pointed to his track record, which he believes proves he is a good leader.
Molaodi highlighted his efficient running of the country’s Volleyball Federation, which in the last two years had led other sporting codes to seek his advice.
Despite volleyball’s emergence as a prominent sport in Botswana, a lack of sponsorship resulted in the league being cancelled this year – a problem that Molaodi noted affects a number of the country’s sporting codes.
For his part, Colonel Tshenyego insisted that he was the best candidate for the job because of his strong sports background.
He urged electorates to vote for him because he fully understands the committee’s mandate having worked under the outgoing president.
Describing a vote for him as a vote for continuity, Tshenyego said, “I want us to establish a quality system which can be formulated by federations. The other thing is to vamp women empowerment by increasing female participation in sports and leadership. I will also ensure that we do talent identification from grassroots to elite through deliberate nurturing programs. Having high performance and athletes welfare as core area of focus.”
Outlining his road map, Mabiletsa focused on finances.
He explained that there were a number of ways to raise funds, including setting up a trust fund, a lottery, as well as requesting more money from Olympic Solidarity.
He warned that the BNOC’s strategy plan shows they cannot work within the budget, stressing that it was important to reduce costs.
Lebotse Sebego noted that brand awareness and visibility would help attract more sponsors in sports.
She said in the first 100 days as BNOC president, she would meet local organising committees for games to find out how they are preparing for 2018 major games.
Lobatse Sebego added that her second priority would be to review the constitution.
The fifth candidate, Malesu said currently there is no sports policy that encapsulates tax rebates in companies, which results in a lack of sponsorship endorsements.
He said sports officials are also failing to source levies from alcohol and cigarettes, which he believes can be channelled into sports development.
All five candidates have had their say – the talking is finally over, let the voting begin.