WINDHOEK – The eagerly awaited Namibian Football Association (NFA) Executive Committee meeting that will make a final decision on the future of the association’s out-of-contract secretary-general Barry Rukoro will take place tomorrow at Safari Hotel in Windhoek.
At its Emergency Committee meeting earlier this month at Omuthiya, the NFA emergency committee members resolved to provisionally extend Rukoro’s stay as head of the NFA secretariat until June 2 (tomorrow) when the NFA holds its next executive committee meeting where a final decision would be taken.
Rukoro’s employment contract expired on March 31, this year, which led to a nasty battle between NFA President, Frans Mbidi and Rukoro over the renewal of his employment contract. It did not take long for the contract dispute to embarrassingly play itself out into the public and into the corridors of COSAFA.
To avoid further damage on the integrity of the NFA and Namibian football as a whole, the association’s executive committee resolved to temporarily retain Rukoro while seeking a well-informed legal opinion and clear interpretation about the content of his employment contract, which should lead to a final decision.
As president, Mbidi approached and hired prominent local law firm Sisa Namandje & Co to provide legal guidance and to also help interpret the various contents of Rukoro’s employment contract.
In a letter dated May 24, 2018, seen by New Era Sport, Sisa Namandje & Co responded to the NFA saying after having thoroughly studied and examined Rukoro’s contract, “it is clear that the contract between NFA and Rukoro came to an end on March 31, 2018. There is no issue of a dismissal. Authority has it that if the parties agree on a definite time for the expiration of the contract, it follows that, no notice of termination is required – the contract expires at the effluxion of time…Based on the above position, Rukoro cannot remain in the office because his contract was set for a definite period of time, effective from April 1, 2016 for 24 months. Such time has lapse on March 31, 2018”.
On Rukoro’s legitimate expectation that his contract was to be renewed, Sisa Namandje & Co said: “It is clear from the reading of the contract of employment that there is no provision, either explicitly or impliedly, which deals with the possibility of the renewal of the contract upon its expiry…In light of the above, the reliance on legitimate expectation is thus flawed.
In the last part of the lengthy letter, Sisa Namandje & Co concluded that Rukoro’s issue is purely labour and advised Mbidi to approach the Labour Court for an order against Rukoro for his removal from office.
Despite Sisa Namandje & Co’s legal opinion on the matter, sources at Football House says the outcome of tomorrow’s executive meeting has already been determined, rumours are that both Rukoro and Mbidi as well as the executive committee already strike a deal that will see Rukoro remain in office.