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No need to panic
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FRESH LESOKWANE

Entertainment

No need to panic

BOMU Awards to go on as scheduled

Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) President, Phemelo Lesokwane has dismissed allegations doing the rounds that the awards slated for 31st July will not take place.

On Monday, social media was awash with claims the Botswana Registrar of Societies had deregistered BOMU for non-compliance.

Concerned artists contacted Voice Entertainment seeking clarity.

In an interview on Tuesday, a bemused Lesokwane said he was not surprised such a rumour had found its way to The Voice’s office.

The unimpressed President pointed an accusing finger at ‘some of the previous committee’, condemning them for sowing seeds of discord among BOMU members.

“They are hiding behind some of our members, but we know who’s behind this campaign,” charged Lesokwane, who was voted President in August last year.

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During his acceptance speech, Lesokwane vowed to run an inclusive organisation that serves the interests of artists.

He was ushered into the BOMU leadership after the union was dormant for two years following a protest by members who then took Pagson Ntsie’s led union to the Advisory and Arbitration Council (AAC).

An order was made for an interim committee to be elected to help rebuild functioning BOMU structures. Lesokwane received overwhelming support from members to be the interim leader.

“The same people who were taken to AAC, possibly in cahoots with some officers from the Registrar of Societies, are behind these rumours,” he added.

Lesokwane admitted it’s no secret BOMU has pending issues with the Registrar on issues of compliance.

“In fact, when we reported the previous committee to AAC, it was one of our submissions that BOMU had failed to submit their returns in 2016. Now, these people are deliberately misleading people claiming BOMU has not been complying since 2005. We’ve since furnished all the relevant stakeholders with documents detailing our compliance history,” he said.

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In a 4th June letter from the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Annah Mokgethi, the union is reminded they indeed failed to comply with Section 16, as well as Article 8.4 of its own Constitution, which requires an Annual General Meeting (AGM) be held every July or on or before the second week of August.

The Minister further said her office has noted BOMU’s efforts towards compliance regarding the submission of their outstanding annual returns and therefore granted them six months to comply.

“Whilst awaiting these returns your office may continue with your operations pending the submission of the above,” states the letter.

It is this last sentence that Lesokwane says those peddling rumours should pay attention to.

“The Minister is very clear. The awards will go on,” he concluded confidently.

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