Windhoek-The on and off frosty romance between the Namibia Football Association (NFA) long-serving secretary general Barry Rukoro and the association’s president Frans Mbidi just refuses to settle down.
In a new twist, a clearly irritated NFA second vice-president Ludwig ‘Croocks’ Nunuheb has written a strongly-worded letter to the trigger-happy NFA president telling him in no uncertain terms to lay his itchy hands off Rukoro.
New Era Sport is in possession of a communication signed by Nunuheb, under the headline, “Unlawful termination of services of the Secretary General and illegal appointment of Acting Secretary General”, which calls Mbidi to order in his desperate bid to oust Rukoro.
“We, the Members of the NFA Executive Committee have taken note of a letter circulated to various stakeholders by the NFA President, in particular the Chairpersons of the Members of NFA.
“Furthermore, we wish to inform everyone that at no stage did the Executive Committee take such a decision or mandated the President to act in that manner, particularly not to act in regard to the SG position and neither to appoint anybody in an acting capacity.”
Nunuheb added that until the Exco meeting takes place, no decision regarding Rukoro’s position will be taken and any such communication has no binding value.
“We also wish to advise both Titus Kunamuene and Tim Isaacs to ignore any purported attempted appointment to share the responsibilities of the Acting Secretary General position without the endorsement of the Exco.”
Nunuheb cautioned the pair that failure to heed the call could render them liable for anything that might go wrong whilst acting in positions without proper appointment.
He further advised the incumbent SG to ignore any communication from the president until the NFA Exco has deliberated on the matter.
“We are guided by the NFA statutes and can’t allow an individual to operate in isolation,” reads the letter verbatim.
To worsen matters, in another communiqué to Mbidi also seen by New Era Sport, the chairman of the country’s flagship football league, the Namibia Premier League (NPL), Patrick Kauta, also expressed serious concerns at the ongoing circus, labeling Mbidi’s actions disgusting.
“You are invariably pitching current junior administrative staff members on a collision course against their senior and yet knowing very well that the same issue is on the agenda for discussion at the meeting of 7 April,” said Kauta, who further castigated Mbidi as acting way beyond his designated boundaries.
“Having read your legalistic letters and emails written by a legally trained mind, your strategy is obvious. You resolved to give notice to the SG, perhaps as he claims, to remove a debate about extension of his contract.
“From this stance, the inference appears to me at least that the SG employment contract must have been extended before. I would have been keen to know how and under what circumstances, if any, such extension was done.”
He adds that the said meeting is deliberately set down after 31 March as by then, Exco wouldn’t have had a chance to deliberate on the SG expiring contract.
“I’m sure you acted on legal advice on this score because in law you cannot extend a contract that has already expired. If Rukoro’s contract was extended before and the incumbent has legitimate expectation that it would be extended again, then the factual matrix of the matter is not as simple as it is made out by both sides.”
“The cornerstone of legitimate expectation is that you must hear the other side and not be the judge in your own course.”
Furthermore, the outspoken legal expert is adamant Mbidi’s conduct and handling of this issue potentially raises a conflict of interest or worse, his recusal, because he may have already regrettably made up his mind on the issue of extension – thus disqualifying him to chair any meeting on this issue as he is already compromised.
Kauta was however quick to remind that his opinion should not be interpreted as support for Rukoro because he has already raised concern with Rukoro’s overstaying but insists Rukoro should be granted a fair opportunity to be judged, without any personal vendettas attached to the matter.
“I cannot idly sit and watch how personal electioneering is being used to roughshod elementary principles of fairness,” concludes Kauta’s straightforward letter to the trigger-happy Mbidi.