Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chairman's Seat 2008-12

Today we go deep into finding the pathway to the leadership wrangles that have seemingly been the focus of some sections of the media and some sections of the fans at AFC Leopards. We shall trace the leadership intrigues at the club for the last four years so that those who are ignorant may have a bit of the historical background to how we have moved from 2008 upto 2012.

We begin this story in 2008.

Alex ole Magelo assumed the leadership of the club on 22 June 2008 during the Annual General Meeting that was held on that day. 

At the time, the club was playing in the Nationwide Division and his coming into office led to the promotion of the team back to the Kenyan Premier League at the end of the year 2008.

In 2009, there was a scheduled Annual General Meeting in June where elections that were supposed to be held were postponed to the end of the season. A new constitution was adopted by the club during this Meeting but it seems it was never ratified at the Registrar of Societies.

Instead, Julius Ochiel was incorporated into the Executive Committee of the club. The then secretary general Micah Luvutse was replaced in an acting capacity by Richard Ekhalie. However, since Luvutse still appeared on the records at the Registry, at the end of the year he issued an Annual General Meeting notice dated 16th November 2009.

On 1st December 2009 Magelo resigned in a huff and announced that elections were still to be held on 13th December 2009. It appears that he then had a change of mind as he boycotted the elections but then indicated that he was still in office. During the Annual General Meeting held on 13th December 2009, the following had emerged as the officials.

However, Ochiel would have none of the change of mind statements by Magelo and filed a case being Chief Magistrates Court Civil Case Number 8664 of 2009 seeking orders that Magelo ceases being in office and hands over. Magelo did not contest this case and handed over to Ochiel who took over in January 2010.

Ochiel then called a Special General Meeting for 27th June 2010 in which a new constitution was passed. 

The passing of the constitution brought about some controversial positions since it stated that the term of office had been automatically increased to three years from one year. Ochiel also fell out with his Secretary General Robert Asembo and appointed Catherine Omanyo to act.

When the Annual General Meeting was expected to be called in December 2010, Ochiel instead announced that the meeting on 5th December 2010 would be only to fill in the vacancies of those officers who were not in office being the vice Chair and Organizing Secretary. To quote from the Ingwe Fan blog:-

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.

The Registrar in a letter dated 1st December 2010 cancelled the AGM of 5th December 2010 and asked for a new notice where there would be full elections and not just for two seats.

Robert Asembo then called the elections and set the date as 28th December 2010.

Julius Ochiel rushed to court under Chief Magistrates Court Civil Case Number 8094 of 2010 seeking orders barring Asembo from calling the meeting and temporarily stopping the Annual General Meeting. 

On 14th January 2011, the court dismissed this application on a technicality.

Asembo then immediately placed an advert on page 23 of the Daily Nation of 15th January 2011 calling elections for 16th January 2011 at Nyayo Stadium.

During these elections, Julius Ochiel boycotted them and instead Magelo and Winston Kituyi took part in the elections for Chairman. The voting system used was mlolongo and though some sources indicated that Kituyi had won, Magelo also claimed he had won. This led to the first case of THREE Chairmen (Kituyi, Magelo and Ochiel).

However, Mumias Sugar as the sponsor intervened and the parties had a joint meeting at the sponsor’s offices in which it was agreed that joint elections be held on 13th February 2011.

A notice was issued by Catherine Omanyo to this effect.

The elections were held at Railways Club and were marred with violence when the voting was disrupted by some fans.

Several fans together with the Kenya National Sports Council petitioned the Ministry of Sports and on 23rd February 2011, the Minister stated that an interim board should assume the leadership of the club as the argument was that the term of office of Ochiel had expired at the AGM.

The Interim Board led by Gordon Oluoch then quickly moved to announce elections for 6th March 2011. Ochiel protested and filed a case in Chief Magistrates Court Civil Case Number 374 of 2011. He obtained orders in the afternoon of 4th March 2011 and was unable to serve the persons who were to conduct the elections in time. During the elections of 6th March 2011, Magelo was therefore elected.

Magelo was duly recognized as the Chairman of Leopards through a letter dated 7th March 2011 from the Registrar of Societies.

Two Leopards fans allied to Ochiel then filed another case in the High Court Civil Case No. 112 of 2011 in which they sued the Minister of Sports and the registrar General for recognizing Magelo as Chairman. Magelo joined this suit as an interested party and the ruling was finally given on 11th October 2011 when the case was dismissed. A copy of the ruling is available here

Whilst the case was ongoing, Magelo started the push for a new constitution by holding a meeting in September and another in October. However, a casualty of the push for the new constitution was secretary general Josephat Bukachi who was suspended on 20th September 2011. He also claimed to have resigned according to some mediasources.

With the backing of the court ruling that stated he was still Chairman, Magelo called a Special General Meeting for 13th November 2011 in which the adoption of the new constitution was the only agenda. The notice was placed on the official website.

This meeting took place and the constitution was passed.

At about the same time that Magelo was issuing the notice for the SGM, Bukachi issued a notice for an Annual General Meeting and set it for 27th November 2011. The notice was published in the Standard newspaper edition of 11th November 2011.

There was confusion when two AGM’s took place with one gathering declaring Ochiel as the new Chairman and another hours later at the same venue declaring new entrant Sammy Aina as the Chairman.

Kituyi was named the vice Chair in both gatherings whilst Magelo stayed away from these two AGMs. This led to the second scenario of THREE chairmen (Magelo, Kituyi and Aina).

Before this contested AGM and just to appear to be on the safe side, the two fans allied to Ochiel had once again gone to court on 25th November 2011 under Chief Magistrates Court Case Number 5716 of 2011 and obtained orders suspending the constitution passed on 13th November 2011 and also reiterating that the secretary general was Bukachi who had called the AGM of 27th November 2011.

The Registrar of Societies in a letter dated 29th November 2011 addressed to Aina, Ochiel, Bukachi and Magelo stated that having received the returns of the two AGMs, the SGM and the court order, the best thing to do was to await the decision of the court in the case filed under Chief Magistrates Court Case Number 5716 of 2011.

Unamused at the turn of events and the shenanigans being played, CLAWS Trust, a supporters trust of the club, filed a petition with the Registrar proposing a road map devoid of cases and court orders. This was presented to the registrar on 14th December 2011.

However, on 20th December 2011, the Registrar in a surprising move instead ordered that the club should issue a notice for an AGM within 30 days of 20th December 2011. The Registrar also said the club should furnish her with the register of members before then.

Bukachi who was not on speaking terms with the other EC members then purported to call an AGM and set the date as 22nd January 2012.

Magelo, on the other hand, insisted that having taken over in March 2011 and with a one year term, his term was to end in March 2012. He indicated that he would be issuing a proper notice for the Annual General Meeting.

It turned out that no credible list of members had been kept by the club and thus the elections of 22nd January 2012 could not be credible at all. The Registrar therefore cancelled the elections though her letter of 18th January 2012. Mind you, this was the same Registrar who had written the letter of 20th December 2011 asking for the elections to be called.

Aina however indicated that he went ahead to hold an AGM on 22nd January 2012 knowing full well that it had been cancelled. It is even funny that his election was unopposed as was for all the office bearers in his team. He has also not tabled any list showing how many members attended and voted that day.

The Registrar then issued a roadmap on 17th February 2012 in which key agreements were that the club have a Harmonization Committee on the constitution to harmonize the various drafts that have been mentioned above; then an SGM would be called and then an AGM. The date of the SGM was to be 4th March 2012 and the AGM was to be 8th April 2012.

However, due to time constraints, this process has had a change of dates with the SGM planned for 6th May 2012 and the AGM on 17th June 2012. In between these dates, a credible members Register would be prepared and nominations carried out for the various positions at the club.

Claws Trust was involved in putting the road map back on track and held the meeting on 15th April 2012 in which the various stake holders, except Aina, took part.

Aina had instead filed another court case High Court Case Number 110 of 2012 in which he sought orders to bar Magelo and his office from acting as officers of the club. This case was heard on 23rd April 2012 and the court granted his orders but did not grant him powers to be the Chairman. In fact, Aina cleverly did not sue the Registrar choosing to only give one side of the story that there were valid elections on 22nd January 2012 and he was elected. He failed to disclose that the elections had been cancelled.

On learning of the orders, Magelo quickly moved to court to vacate orders. This application is coming up for hearing on 8th May 2012. Ochiel also moved to court on 3rd May 2012 seeking to be enjoined as an interested party to the suit.

We await the next moves in this interesting story of Annual General Meetings, Special General Meetings, Court Cases and audacious coups.


  1. and the saga continues...

  2. "Like sands through the hourglass... so are the Days of Our Lives."

  3. To these dark figures from the past and their quislings; "you may dance with a leopard but you'll never know when the music stops"

  4. Who are the other office bearers in Aina's office?

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