GABORONE, October 5, 2017- The Sports Writers Association of Botswana (SWABo) hosted the first ever Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) presidential debate on the Tuesday October 3, 2017 in Gaborone .
The debate which was moderated by Martin Fani, who also serves in the Executive Committee of SWABo, saw unprecedented five presidential candidates battle it out in a debate that was aired by the national television broadcaster (Botswana Television). Colonel Botsang Tshenyego who is currently the BNOC senior vice president promised to work on improving government relations. He was confident that voters will see him as a competent and capable leader.
" I have delivered on my mandate (as the vice president), I have a track record. I am a life-long learner and that makes me relevant in every circumstance that I am in.”
The other candidate in the former national boxing champion France Mabiletsa said he would focus more on strategies that would improve Botswana’s performance at major international events, “I will have national team put together at the beginning of every 4 years Olympic cycle and prepare them for the Olympics years in advance. Competitions that come in between will be used to prepare them for Olympics.”
The only woman vying for Presidency who is also the President of Africa Netball and Botswana Netball Association, Mrs Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego said she believed that for sports to attract more funders it has to “be packaged as a brand to attract investment from big brands.”
She portrayed herself as someone who can break new frontiers as she brought a netball world cup to Africa for the first time this year where Botswana hosted Netball World Youth Cup
. As for the former Botswana Football Association CEO who resigned recently to focus on the elections and his business ventures Ookeditse Malesu he chose to dwell on funding the BNOC.
“I have already started engaging relevant stakeholders on possibility of introducing a levy on cigarette that will go to BNOC. It is doable and will also propose that we have a share from the national lottery which SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) is already doing.” He was confident that he can turn around BNOC in his first month in office.
The current President of Botswana Volleyball Federation Daniel Molaodi focused more on implementation of the existing strategy of BNOC. “It is not about how good the strategy is, it is about its implementation. I believe I am the right person to implement it as I deal with strategy on a daily due to the nature of my profession (Lecturer at the University of Botswana),” said Molaodi. On Saturday BNOC affiliates will elect a new president for the first time in 16 years after the incumbent, Nigros Kgosietsile, chose not to seek re-election.
Four other positions that will also be contested for.
Speaking after the debate, the President of SWABo Leatile Mmutle ewas pleased with the enlightening and successful debate.
“we received positive feedback from candidates and many people who watched the debate. They felt it was well organized and left voters and well-wishers more informed. One of the key roles of journalism is to inform the society.” He went further to acknowledge sponsors who made the event a success, “many thanks to our official transport partner Vincent Excellent Tours, Broadcast Partners in Botswana Television (BTV), Pro Guard Security, and Botho University. We are humbled by their contribution and hope for a long term relationship. I also thank everyone who had a hand in making the debate a huge success.”
SWABo, since its establishment in 2015, saw the need to take a pivotal role that the public may know about the presidential candidates and issues at hand. SWABo has also organized and co-hosted Botswana Football Association presidential debate in July 2016.