LSRC bemoans delay in govt subvention

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Moorosi Tsiane

LESOTHO could lose the right to host the Zone VI Darts Championships due to lack of funding, the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) acting chief executive officer Mofihli Makoele has revealed.

The games get underway in August but Makoele said the LSRC was in a race against time to secure its subvention for the current financial year from government.

He said the release of the funds had been delayed by a failed court bid by Basotho National Party spokesperson Machesetsa Mofomobe and political activist Mohato Seleke seeking to prevent the outgoing government from using one third of budget on the basis that it was not tabled before parliament.

They argued that the tabling had not been done before parliament was dissolved by King Letsie III in March on the advice of prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili whose seven parties was toppled by the opposition in  a vote of no confidence that same month.

The duo however lost their case before the High Court and the Court of Appeal this month, thus paving the way for the release of funds.

But according to Makoele, the damage had been done as Lesotho failed to send a team to the Confederation of Schools Sport Associations of Southern Africa (COSSASA) Games in Zimbabwe last month.

“We are not in a good financial state at the moment because we have been not been given this year’s budget,” Makoele said.

We were meant to get funds but one third of the budget hasn’t been allocated because there was a court case where Machesetsa was challenging the government on that. But now that the government have been given the green light hopefully we will be given the money,” Makoele told the Lesotho Times this week.

“Unfortunately we failed to send a team to Zimbabwe because there was no money.

“Lesotho Darts Association is also set to host the international Zone VI championship in August and they are likely to cancel that tournament because they still haven’t received money from government and other countries want to know whether or not we are ready,” he said adding they had to give an answer on time so that another country could step in as hosts.

Makoele also said the funding challenges made it difficult for the country to host last week’s International Tennis Federation junior championships.

He commended the Lesotho Lawn Tennis Association for going out of their way to secure sponsors for the tournament.

The former LeFA boss said the M7 million subvention was woefully inadequate for the 32 sports associations and government needed to do more to aid the development of sport in the country.

“If sport can be given priority then we will start to see progress. But the M7million subvention which comes in quarterly tranches restricts our affiliates,” he said, adding it would be more helpful if the money came all at once.

He said they were working on plans to reduce their dependence on government.

“We are working on opening a sports trust and we have been holding meetings with stakeholders.

“We will have a committee that will manage such funds and ensure they are not misused.”

He said among other things, they would work with the corporate sector to hold fund-raising events.

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