On one hand, Secretary General Robert Asembo has called elections for today whilst on the other hand, Club Chairman Julius Ochiel has indicated that Asembo is suspended and he does not have the power to call an election.
Surely this confusion is not what Leopards needs at the moment. Matters were not helped when the Registrar of Societies issued a letter saying he could not confirm the AGM whilst at the same time addressing it to the Secretary General whom he noted had been seemingly suspended.
The confusion started when Leopards held a Special General Meeting on or about 27th June 2010 where a new constitution was passed. The previous regime of Alex Ole Magelo had come up with the constitution and seemingly, the new office decided to pass it as it was.
The controversial constitution increased the term of office of the office bearers to three years. One of the confusding pints has been when the efective date for this change would have been.
At the time, the Magelo allied afcleopards.net carried the story about the intended meeting.
Following this meeting, it was assumed by some section of fans that the Ochiel team which had taken office in December last year would be in office for one year and after that, the new constitution would kick in. In November this year, calls were made for the club to have fresh elections for Ochiel and his group to seek a further mandate.
Instead, the Ochiel group announced that there will be an Annual General Meeting which will not have full elctions and instead only a few positions will be open. In a notice posted on the Leopards website afcleopards.co.ke it was announced that:-
Notice is hereby given to all bonafide members of registered AFC Leopards branches that the Annual General Meeting of AFC Leopards Sports Club shall be held on Sunday 5th December, 2010 at Nyayo National Stadium Hall at 2.00p.m to transact the following business: 1. To read & confirm minutes of previous Annual General Meeting. 2. To receive, consider and adopt the accounts for the year 2010 by treasurer. 3. To Appoint Auditors for the club. 4. To receive, consider and adopt the Governing Councils report on the implementation of the club’s constitution. 5. To receive, consider and adopt the club’s strategic plan for the years 2011 -2015. 6. To receive, consider and adopt the club’s proposed budget for the year 2011. 7. To elect the vacant positions of (1) Vice Chairman and (2) Organizing Secretary 8. Chairman’s report All four branch officials (Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Organizing Secretary) are entitled to attend to represent their branches.
This led to an uproar with a section of the fans opposed to the Ochiel group indicating that all the positions should be open for elections. It was reported in the East African Standard that:
A group of former AFC Leopards officials are demanding that elections be held for all positions during the club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for early next month. The officials said yesterday it is unfair to restrict the elections to only two positions and want it opened up.
Led by former chairman Alex Ole Magelo, they termed it as unfair and undemocratic a decision by the current officials opening up only the vice-chairman’s post and the Organising Secretary’s position for elections. "This is a plot to lock out all those interested in vying for elective posts and we demand that the decision be rescinded," said Magelo who addressed the media at a Nairobi hotel.
On Wednesday, the club announced it will hold its AGM on December 5 at Nyayo National Stadium during which two positions will be filled.
In June, the club changed the constitution, giving a three-year term for its officials, but the group challenging the decision says this should not be done retrospectively.
"We have no problem with the three-year term, what we are against is the time it is supposed to apply. It appears the current officials want to perpetuate their stay in office by the constitution," "The requirements in the new constitution can only be applied after we hold elections in December," he added.
He also took issue with the performance of the club at the end of this season saying it has not improved at all since they left office a year ago. "The club has had the worst goal difference in the entire league and does not seem to have made any improvement despite the huge resources that the officials received during their tenure,"
"We want them to explain to all Leopards’ members how they have spent this money," added Magelo. The former chairman was accompanied by Duncun Angode and Richard Ekhalie who were all officials of the club last year.
Magelo also claimed that players welfare was ignored by the current officials and this could have contributed to the poor performance in the league. Leopards finished 12th in the just concluded Kenyan Premier League (KPL) after going through many challenges. The club received a major boost three weeks ago when Mumias Sugar Company announced they will sponsor the club next season. With the new controversy over next month’s AGM, it is expected to be a hotly debated contest.The Ochiel group seemingly saw that with the Mumias Sugar sponsorship that had been announced, they had outdone the Magelo group.
Of course, the Magelo group instead was out to show that they had been the better group.
Magelo and his group through the afcleopards.net website listed their achievements one of which was that they managed to win the FKL Cup. It is however not lost on observers that Leopards only played two matches to win this FKL Cup and received numerous byes. In fact, most Premiership clubs boycotted the tournament.
Back to the elections, the Ochiel group hit back with a letter calling on people not to break the pot.
Our attention has been drawn to Media reports attributed to Mr Magelo and some other members of the former office making some demands towards the forthcoming AGM. We hereby wish to state the following:
1.That the Special General Meeting that was held on the 29th of June 2010 was a properly constituted meeting in line with the then existing club constitution of which you as were all members duly invited but you opted not to attend. The meeting resolved to adopt the new constitution that is now governing the club. Please note that this is the document governing the clubs constitution.
2.We are aware of the scheme to purport the existence of two sets of the clubs new constitution. Please note that this attempt is nothing new. There were changes made to the Kenyan constitution in the run up to this year’s referendum. The genuine document however saw the light of day. We would like to assure you that the genuine constitution that was passed during the SGM is both with the Bona Fide club branches as well as the Government of Kenya and the bodies running football in Kenya. That document is clear that the mandate of the current office will run until June 2013 when the next club elections will be held.
3.The positions being filled are as a result of the current holders of the positions failing to attend any meetings for the past 6 months. The clubs constitution clearly states that any official who fails to attend four consecutive governing council meetings automatically loses his or her position.
4.In our country which has over 10Million voters only 210 Mps represent them at the National Assembly similarly at AFC Leopards which has over 3Million fans but with approximately 1,000 registered and paid up members representation through a clear branch network as adopted under the new club constitution entitles every branch to be represented at the General Assembly (AGM) by their four officials i.e. Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and organizing Secretary.
5.At the AGM of 5th December 2010 will be the first time the club will be unveiling a 3 years strategic plan under the current governing council.
6.The reason for institutions like AFC having AGM’s is to update the constituted forum on such matters as the financial performance of the office. Therefore the matters raised by Mr Magelo regarding accountability and transparency are rather premature. Rather than make seemingly such reckless statements it would be ideal for him and his colleagues to advise their branch officials (if they are members of any branch) who will represent them at the AGM on such issues so they can raise them at the meeting. Interesting these accusation are made by people whose tenure in office was perhaps the most corrupt and suspect of all clubs offices. (Has Mr Magelo’s former treasurer come clean of the allegations that made you suspend him before you left office? Have the owners of Leopards Holdings who operated under the wings of Mr Magelo accounted for the T-Shirts they sold without remitting a cent to the club?)
7.Let the Magelo team not cheat the public that they performed better regarding player’s welfare. At their point of resignation in December 2009, they clearly confirmed their inability to secure the players welfare and also manage club affairs no wander they left behind a debt of 2.4 Million due to players for salaries and allowances. Currently the lowest player earns 15K up from 7K while the highest player earns 40K up from 20K, which regime has performed better. Remember during the 2 years the Magelo Team was in office they never declared publicly any donations received nor did they publish books of account till today. The current governing council as ensured to declare all donations received publicly in the presence of Media as a sign of enhanced transparency. At the AGM of 5th December 2010, income and Expenditure will be declared for the first time in the history of the club.
8.The current office indeed welcomes not only members of the immediate former office but all Ingwe fans to come together and strengthen the club rather than be confrontational and self seeking, now is the time to put all our energies and efforts in rebuilding the team and putting in place the structures that will ensure that the club regains its lost glory. The time for elections will surely come and all will be invited to vie for all positions. However for now there is an office in place and there are plans to ensure that the club starts the next season stronger.
9.Finally, Mumias Sugar has confirmed their support for the club for the next season which comes handy and at the right time. It is due to such programmes that the current office requested for a three year term during the June SGM. It has taken us more than 7 months to get to where we are with the Mumias Sponsorship. Most of their key concerns have been addressed by the changes we made by enacting the new constitution. Should we engage in any negative publicity we stand to lose all that we have achieved to date. Any actions by the sections of the club that create chaos will lead to the contract not being signed. Let us not be too petty and short sighted so as to put the ongoing discussions at risk and break the pot at the door.
Meanwhile, the governing council under my Chairman ship will take full advantage of the end season break to consolidate and enhance the playing unit, reorganize the Technical Bench to guarantee outstanding performance in the next season.
In the cloud of confusion, Asembo crossed over from the Ochiel group to the Magelo group and announced that elections would go on. This is the notice that was issued and slated the elections for December 28.
Meanwhile, there are reports that Ochiel and group had been given a court order barring the elections.
We wait to see what happens. In the meantime, Leopards had toured Tanzania where they were spanked in the three matches.
Read the reports here:
AFC Leopards 0 Yanga 1
AFC Leopards 0 Simba 2
AFC Leopards 0 Azam 3