Gaborone United warring factions are expected to hold a decisive crisis meeting this coming week to resolve the crisis that threatens to see the two team’s factions head to court. Following the divisive elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) that was held at the University of Botswana (UB) on the 11th of July this year, the team has been left in a crisis as some supporters have queried the constitutionality of the teams’ newly elected committee.
In the aftermath of the divisive AGM, some sections of supporters wrote a letter to the Registrar of Societies asking for intervention as they felt the team’s constitution was not followed when the team elected its Executive Committee. “The concerned supporters say there were a lot of irregularities in the voting process during the elective AGM. Among their major concerns is that elections were carried though the supporters did not form a quorum as per Article 15.1 of the club’s constitution. Another concern for the concerned supporters was that at least two of the people elected to the Executive Committee, namely the Chairperson and the Secretary General were not eligible for office as per Article 17.3 of the team’s constitution,” a source close to the GU hierarchy said.
The source however said that the Registrar then advised the newly elected committee to call a meeting with the concerned members to try resolving the meeting. “At that meeting, which was called by the Executive Committee as per the advice of the registrar, both sides did not agree. The concerned supporters informed the Executive Committee that they did not recognise them as a duly elected committee. The concerned supporters informed the committee that they do not agree with the Registrar’s advice to meet the ‘Executive Committee’ as doing such would amount to recognising the committee as legal. They felt the Registrar had erred in advising that they meet the same people they are complaining about to hear their concerns,” the source said. It is said that the concerned supporters want the team’s Executive Committee to be dissolved and for new elections to be called, something which the sitting Executive Committee does not agree with.
The existence of such a meeting was confirmed by the Club Chairperson Rapula Okaile, who said the two parties failed to agree. At the time, Okaile said following the failed meeting, the Executive Committee had resolved to meet the Office of the Registrar to inform them about the details of the meeting. The meeting, which was supposed to have taken place last week Tuesday, was however halted as the club’s Committee of Elders stepped in to try and extinguish the flames. The first of such attempts is said to have come this past Thursday evening when the team’s Committee of Elders called the two sides for a crisis resolution meeting. “At the meeting, the concerned supporters informed the Elders Committee that the club’s constitution was not followed something which they (Elders Committee) agreed with. They also expressed their disappointment with the team’s elders for not ensuring the team’s constitution was followed and informed the elders that they should try to be fair when dealing with the issue. The concerned supporters then made it clear to the club’s elders that the only way for the crisis to be resolved is for the current committee to be dissolved. They want an interim committee to be elected to take over at the club and steer it towards free elections,” the source said.
It is however said the current committee is opposed to the idea of fresh elections, more so that they believe that waiving the constitution to put people in the office is part of the processes at the club. As such, they feel they it was well within the norm and they have been legitimately put in office. “A precedent has been set in the past where the club’s constitution had been waived. Even at the AGM that came before the recent one in July, the constitution was waived and the current committee feels it is nothing new for such to happen, hence they feel they have been legitimately put into office,” the source explained. With both parties failing to agree, the Committee of Elders is said to have advised them to go and mull over their decisions and come with resolutions. However, with both sides seemingly not willing to back down, the source said it is improbable that the two parties may end up approaching the courts to resolve the matter. The source however all is now dependent on how the meeting with the Committee of Elders, which is expected to take place before the end of the week will pen out. “The team’s elders want this to be solved amicably and in-house and they are really working hard to ensure that,” the source concluded.