Bots to elect new Olympic president

Bakang Mhaladi

Gaborone – Five candidates are vying for the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) presidency, with elections due on Saturday.

Incumbent, Negroes Kgosietsile will step down after 16 years at the

helm. Any one of Botswana Netball Association (BONA) president, Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego, former Botswana Football Association (BFA) chief executive officer, Ookeditse Malesu, Botswana Volleyball Federation president, Daniel Molaodi, current BNOC vice president, Botsang Tshenyengo and former boxer, France Mabiletsa, will succeed Kgosietsile.

It has been a heated campaign, with candidates going all out tosnatch the post.

The candidates faced-off in a televised debate, midweek, keen to make last minute impressions, with 26 sports codes expected to cast their votes in Gaborone on Saturday.

Lebotse-Sebego is the only woman candidate and has promised to focus on improving the performance of elite athletes in international competitions. She will also focus on branding affiliates under the BNOC.

“I really aim higher. I am contesting against good administrators but pound to pound I do not think any of the other four candidates is experienced like me. To the electorates, in me know that I do not get tired to speak for sports. I do not go with the flow. I rock the boat,” she said.

Malesu, who recently left the BFA, has quickly made himself available and has labelled himself as ‘Mr Fixer’.

“BNOC job is simple, which is to accredit athletes at Olympics and Commonwealth. There is no technical department within the BNOC and you cannot run the organisation without it. I am going to solve that. I have solved problems before. I am a fixer,” he said.

Mabiletsa said he had the necessary experience to turn around the fortunes of BNOC, through re-branding.

“Olympic movement should be promoted during the Olympic day. At the moment it is not being utilized properly. It should be rebranded,” Mabiletsa said. For Molaodi, amending the constitution to re-define the role of the board is key.

“The constitution provided for an executive board, which means it is not responsible for policy, but must be involved in the daily running of the organisation. The situation has changed and there is need to re-look into the document,” he said.

Tshenyego fired salvos at his fellow competitors and said they did not understand what the Olympic Movement is about.

“I doubt the other presidential candidates understand the interpretation of the Olympic Movement. I have the most diverse interpretation of the Olympic mandate,” said Tshenyego who has served as the outgoing Kgosietsile’s deputy.

Botswana has been a relative success at international level, particularly in athletics with the emergence of athletes such as Nijel Amos, Isaac Makwala, Baboloki Thebe, Amantle Montsho and Karabo Sibanda.

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