Lesotho: FAL Fights Take New Twist

Athletics field.

Dispute in the Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) seem to be far from over after the organisation failed to hold its special annual general meeting (AGM) last Saturday.

This after Qacha's Nek district was allegedly accused failing to pay its 2020 affiliation fees and barred from participating in last weekend's meeting and also the forthcoming elections.

The meeting was then suspended as the executive committee was yet to verify whether or not Qacha's Nek had the right to participate in federation's meetings.

FAL public relations officer, Sejanamane Maphathe confirmed that they were forced to suspend the meeting after other districts' members raised concern over Qacha's Nek's alleged ineligibility.

"We held the meeting but it was suspended after members raised concern over Qacha's Nek's affiliation fees," Maphathe said.

"We suspended the meeting to allow the association to work on finding out what exactly transpired regarding to the affiliation issue."

The special AGM was called as part of the association's preparations for the upcoming elections. The elections are set for 20 March 2020.

Despite the challenges Maphathe said he is confident that the March elections will be a success.

For his part, Qacha's Nek member, Tšeliso Pheta alleged that there was a conspiracy to bar him from contesting in the elections.

"Some people are unhappy that we going for the elections. Qacha's Nek paid its affiliation fees to the secretary general (Makara Thibinyane) and he confirmed receiving it.

"The confusion is meant to prevent me from standing for the elections," Pheta said.

Pheta was in last October elected the president of the now dissolved FAL committee. His committee was dissolved according to the advice of World Athletics and it was also disowned by the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC).

The committee was dissolved after it was alleged that the elections' preparation processes were unconstitutional and the elections were held against the recommendations of the LSRC and the association's disputes arbitration tribunal.

The tribunal said the elections should be aborted because they were called unprocedurally. Hence World Athletics recently ordered the federation to call and prepare of constitutional elections.

Last week, Pheta announced his intention to contest in the elections and said he was confident that he would win.

Ahead of the controversial elections last year, the executive committee was divided into two camps. One committee, led by the outgoing president Makhaola Serake, who was against the now nullified elections while his secretary Makara Thibinyane led the camp that forcefully held the elections.

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