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Rollers factions square up ahead of AGM

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Tensions at Township Rollers have not only reached fever pitch with warring factions winding up their campaigns ahead of Saturday’s elective crunch meeting, but the matter has also entered the corridors of Tsholetsa House where Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi was reportedly called to intervene.

Pula24 is reliably-informed that the Spencer Mmui-Mookodi Seisa faction wrote a letter to Botswana Democratic Party complaining about the contempt of court by party Deputy Treasurer Jagdish Shah who is also the club financier. The group, through its lawyers, is said to have also called for a warrant of arrest against Township Holdings’ directors, Shah and Somerset Gobuiwang before this month end. Masisi said however that the party was not aware of Rollers’ squabbles and wars, but that they were only aware that Rollers continue to be a dominant force in the Botswana Premier League.

Rollers troubles come from far and the attempt to involve Shah’s political party leadership is indicative of the desperate measures intended to influence results as two warring factions go to polls this Saturday. The one faction is led by Seisa, calling for the club to be returned to the society to be run as per the Societies Act. The other is pro businessman Shah who has been funding the club and want to continue running the club as a business.

In her judgement in the Mookodi Seisa and others v Township Roller case, High Court Judge Leatile Dambe had stated that she was conscious of the fact that her ruling would not bring finality in the matter, but ruled that the club be run as a society and that there should be no involvement of Shah and Somerset’s company Township Holdings in the running of the club. For some time since that judgement, Rollers have been run by Shah, but in his personal capacity rather than through the company. This, the Seisa group does not like and feel it is contempt of court

They actually threw a spanner in the works when last week, they called a press conference to address the media ahead of the AGM. Both groups had agreed to distance themselves from the media during the campaigns, but then, the faction gained much publicity ahead of their game against BR Highlanders which Rollers lost 2-1, their first defeat of the season.

Supporters sympathetic to Shah caused a tumult at the stadium when they threatened to beat up Seisa following their defeat to Highlanders.

At the top, the compromise interim committee is torn apart. One of the interim committee members and election contenders Dr Edwin Dikoloti is accused of playing political hide and seek. Dikoloti and branches coordinator Tshepiso Chelane resigned from the Walter Kgabung faction last week, the faction that is pro Shah. Now Dikoloti is taking on Kgabung head on for the club chairman post at the weekend assembly.

He admitted that he is going to contest for the chairmanship position at the club assembly. He said that he proposed to both factions to settle their differences amicably so that sanity could prevail at the club. Dikoloti did not want to be drawn in to discussing his resignation.

Chelane, whose mandate as branches coordinator comes to an end in May, did not want to share reasons which led to his withdrawal from the Kgabung-led faction, saying that he felt they (he and the group) can’t agree in principle. “I have decided that I am not standing for any position, and I am not associated with any faction,” Chelane said .

In the Kgabung faction, there is also Dickson Gabanakgosi for President and Khumoyame Masonya for Secretary General.  Kabelo Mosiakgabo of Orapa Branch of Township Rollers supporters will contest the Vice Secretary position. Shah’s employee at CA Minkie Molatlhegi will contest for the position of Treasurer General. The two late defectors Dikoloti and Chelane were to contest for the vice secretary and additional member positions.

Angry Rollers fans after they were beaten 2-1 by BR Highlanders

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