The Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) has finally filled the position of chief executive officer after a two-year search for the right candidate.

The commission on Tuesday, April 5 appointed Botho Bayendi as the new CEO on a five-year term. The appointment comes at a time when Botswana is still grappling with the shocking news that their biggest athletics export, Amos Nijel, is mulling the idea of running as an independent athlete.

Late last month, Nijel, who is the first Botswana national to win an Olympic medal, said that he’s considering taking part at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and 2024 Paris Olympics without the flag of Botswana.

Nigel, who won silver behind a record-breaking run by Kenya’s David Rudisha, at the 2012 London Olympics, was left fuming after his request for an Olympics scholarship was turned down by BNSC.

“Please include me in your prayers for my next phase as a professional athlete. Sadly, I am pursuing going into the scene as an independent athlete – it is what’s best for my family and I. When you don’t feel appreciated and undermined you have to stand for yourself. Botswana National Olympic Committee thank you so much for all the years you have been in my corner, just hope it was not fake support, Iike I see now,”Amos wrote on his social media recently.

The saga by Botswana’s biggest name in global athletics will be among the first issues to be addressed by the new CEO who tackled the matter, albeit in passing, when she was presented before the press.

“The interest in the sport fraternity is from many people who feel entitled to excellence in sport. They also feel entitled to us accounting to whatever investment that government has made to the sport fraternity,” Boyandi was quoted by the Mmegi online.

BNOC president, Botsang Tshenyego did not address Nijel’s issue, but instead used the opportunity to shed light on why it took them so long to get a new CEO.

“We could not hire a CEO because there was a prospect of Tuelo Serufho (who is substantive CEO for the Botswana National Olympic Committee) coming back. We did not want to risk having two CEOs. It has been a long recruitment process that ended Monday,” he said as reported by Mmegi.

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