Gunners divided

Portia Mlilo


It seems Extension Gunners’ struggles extend from the football pitch to the boardroom.

The Lobatse giants were slapped with a six-point deduction at the start of the season for non-compliance with club licencing requirements – a punishment for repeatedly failing to pay players last season.

Although a 1-0 victory over Morupule Wanderers at the weekend meant the deficit was finally wiped out – Mapantsola currently sit second from bottom of the Botswana Premier League (BPL) with 0 points after six games – there are dark times on the horizon for the club.

- Advertisement -

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has written to the BPL Disciplinary Committee lodging a formal complaint against Gunners for ignoring a National Executive Committee (NEC) directive to remove their Chairman, Tariq Babitseng.

The association insists Babitseng is ineligible to hold any position within BFA structures after failing to account for almost P73, 000 during his previous employment with the footballing body.

“In 2015, Babitseng, who by then was the BFA Vice President – Administration, was appointed head of delegation for AFCON qualifier game between Zebras and Guinea Bissau. Following the said game, the BNSC picked some financial irregularities pertaining to the use of the contingency funds,” reads part of the correspondence, which goes on to explain that the NEC then appointed a team to investigate the alleged misuse of funds.

The investigation found that Babitseng had indeed ‘mismanaged’ the money and he was subsequently dismissed.

To add to the cloud of confusion hovering over Gunners, two different Executive Committees are claiming control of the club.

- Advertisement -

Supporters called a Special General Assembly recently, where they passed a motion of no confidence in Babitseng and his committee.

A new committee was elected but Babitseng’s group refused to budge, maintaining the gathering was illegal.

According to Gunners PRO, Willoughby Kemoen, the new committee did not follow the proper rocedure to convene a legitimate meeting.

- Advertisement -

He explained that for the meeting to be deemed ‘legal’, 14 days notice and the sharing of agenda items has to take place – something Kemoen says did not happen.

He blasted the development for creating further instability at Gunners, adding the club has written a letter to BFA to intervene.

“There is no order at all. Just recently the BPL Disciplinary Committee called Gunners management for hearing in a case of failing to pay our former coach Tumi Duicker his salary. The new committee showed up and they were turned down because they (BPL) do not know them.

“We were to launch sponsors this week but we postponed because we want to clear the mist. I am ready to step down for the sake of peace but it should be done procedurally. Removing us in this manner will not bring the solution but is risking the club being docked more points because of this chaos. I foresee trouble and failure to honour some games,” predicted Kemoen, his gloomy forecast the latest bit of bad new in what is fast turning into the season from hell for Mapantsola’s passionate fans.

The PRO further told Voice Sport that some of the new committee members had in fact resigned from the committee in the past and were part of the reason for the club’s debt.

He explained the intention was to hold a special meeting after Wednesday’s general elections, to discuss a number of key matters, chief amongst them the issue over the chairman.

He defiantly concluded that the decision to remove Babitseng, as per BFA’s instruction, is to be taken by club members, as they are the ones who elected him into power.

Leave a comment