The article appears to ignore Africa's participation in the FIDE Championship cycle and participation of individual players in tournaments abroad. There is also nascent activities in Ghana, Senegal, Liberia and budding activities in Mozambique and Namibia. West Africa has never been a stronghold hold of the royal game, having to play second fiddle to draughts. However, in the last election, there was talk of expanding activities and providing support. Lewis Ncube of Zambia sits in an influential role as one of the FIDE Vice Presidents and hopes to stabilize the situation.
Buthali has been accused of mixing personal affairs with those of the ACU and had this to say,
"Running the affairs of the ACU from my house is not necessarily connected to giving or not giving priority to financial accountability. In fact, having an independent office does not make one financially accountable. In order to understand the situation, it is important to balance idealism with pragmatism. There is no money to run an office, hence one has to choose between no activities at all or being practical, hence making do with what is possible. I am urging ACU members to contribute money towards the running of a proper office."
"You are right that in the mid 90s I moved BCF activities from our houses. However, with the challenge of federations being unable to financially support the setting up of their own office, there are in reality not many options. It is due to such circumstances that I have to go against my own principles. Unfortunately this is one area where one cannot approach sponsors for support."
The problem of moribund federations persist as several have had to withdraw memberships and go inactive due to sagging membership and the inability to pay their annual dues. The continent has fallen on hard times and players are disgruntled. Hopefully both Buthali and Ncube will chart a progressive course for African chess since other regions are moving ahead briskly to show the universality of chess.
Read "Botswana: Whiter African Chess?" Mmegi/The Reporter, 31 January 2007 (Gabarone, Botswana).