Nikolas Zackhem’s much touted Gaborone United (GU) take-over is shrouded in controversy and the construction mogul has slapped the team with an ultimatum if he is to finance the team, which is currently in financial doldrums.
This past week, after the unexpected resignation of the team chairperson Rapula Okaile, the team held a series of meetings between members and the team elders. It is at those meetings where it was made clear that ‘Zac’ as the Lebanese investor is normally referred to, has made it clear to the Reds family that they should do away with some of the hurdles for him to inject money into the team.
At the top of his request was for the marathon case at the High Court to be withdrawn. ‘Zac’, according to sources, will not inject money into the team with the case that has the capability to dethrone him later on after he invested a lot of money. “Remember the case started in the 2015 AGM with some arguing that Zac sponsored Rapula and company to the throne. Now what he is saying is, GU should withdraw that case so that he will be assured that he will not be implicated in the power struggles of the team,” a source from GU said.
On the other hand, efforts to smoke the peace pipe between the warring factions will have to be done patiently and carefully. It is said the disgruntled lot who registered the case at the court of law, wants the team secretary general, Gofhamodimo ‘City’ Senne out of the committee if the team is to be leased. “And he is ready to follow Rapula because they worked together and the bigger picture here is GU but he is waiting to hear from them. If they do, he will definitely quit,” added another source who has been attending meetings.
Apart from the court case, this publication is told that Zackhem wants to be given powers similar to that of Township Rollers’ investor, Jagdish Shah. It is believed that in the current system, the businessman’s voice is limited and cannot make decisions despite being the source of revenue.
This however is expected to be an easy task as prior to the resignation of Okaile, a lease model (hybrid system) similar to that of Rollers was drafted only awaiting the signature of the investor. Further the team elders including current and former cabinet ministers are said to be working around the clock to ensure there is smooth transition of the hand over.
As the impasse drags on, the team will be under the leadership of the veterans committee. However, what is unclear is who ‘Zac’ will put in the committee once he assumes the full responsibility of the club. “But one thing for sure is he will opt for people he will be confident they will follow his instructions,” sources at Village where the team is based said.
For some time, the team has been battling financial difficulties with players’ wages taking time to be paid.