After the Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) failed to hold its Special Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 27 February 2020, the Qacha’s Nek member Tšeliso Pheta has alleged there is a plan to discourage him from contesting in the elections.
The AGM is said to have failed because the Qacha’s Nek district was allegedly accused of failing to pay its 2020 affiliation fees and were then barred from participating in the meeting as well as taking part in the upcoming executive committee elections.
The meeting was subsequently suspended with the committee set to verify truthfulness of the accusations and if Qacha’s Nek had the right to participate in the federation’s future meetings.
Pheta said the meeting was forced into suspension pending an investigation into Qacha’s Nek’s eligibility.
“The meeting was forced into suspension after members, in particular the treasure Mokonyana raised concern over our affiliation fees,” Pheta said.
“This was to allow the federation to conduct investigation and find out what exactly happened because Qacha’s Nek does not and has never owed affiliation fees. I say this because I was the one who had been handling payment” he said.
The special AGM was part of the federation’s preparations for the elections set for 20 March 2021.
The events of the AGM were confirmed by the FAL Public Relations Sejanamane Maphathe, who pointed out that, after the suspension of the meeting, due processes were carried out to investigate what happened.
“We held the AGM but it was interrupted by accusations of members over Qacha’s Nek’s alleged ineligibility which was followed by findings that they had indeed paid their affiliation fees,” Maphathe said.
He noted that despite the hiccup, he is confident that the forthcoming elections will be successful.
However, Pheta is adamant that there was a conspiracy to deter him from taking part in the very elections.
“Truth is, the whole accusation of Qacha not paying affiliation fees was a lie and one of the many ways they are trying to discourage me from contesting in the elections,” Pheta said.
“We paid our fees to the secretary general (Makara Thibinyane) and at the time he confirmed receiving payment.
“Even now it did not take long before proof was discovered that I had indeed made the payment, fortunately I did it through Mpesa so it was easy to trace,” Pheta explained.
The recent events at the federation’s AGM are part of a series of events that began last October when Pheta was elected president of the now dissolved FAL committee. World Athletics had advised that the committee be dissolved as it was also not recognised by the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC).
It was alleged that the October 31 2020 elections preparation were unconstitutional and were held against the LSRC recommendations as well as the disputes arbitration tribunal.
The tribunal had said the elections should be aborted because they were not called procedurally. It was only early February when World Athletics ordered the federation to call and prepare for constitutional elections.
Pheta said he is not backing down on contesting for the presidency of the federation for which he is confident of victory.