In an extra ordinary turn of events in Windhoek over the weekend, the Namibian Football Association (NFA) executive committee fired their President Frans Mbidi for alleged gross mismanagement with immediate effect.
The drastic action, according to the NFA Vice President Dr Naftali Ngalandi who has been installed as acting President, was necessitated by Mbidi’s failure to adhere to his fiducial duties as set out in the NFA’s constitution.
According to Ngalandi, additional charges leveled against the dismissed President include:
*Failed to convene executive committee meetings as per the NFA statutes in particular Article 34, sub article one of the constitution.
*Failed to implement the executive committee decisions as per article 38 sub article 2a.
*Being untruthful and misrepresenting the NFA executive committee resolutions to both FIFA and CAF and generally being disloyal to the NFA.
*Rendering the NFA Secretariat ungovernable.
*And failure to refute a report from NFA official delegates at the FIFA Congress in Moscow recently, that he had taken money from Morocco for their failed FIFA World Cup 2026 bid.
Mbidi has been suspended until January 12 when the NFA would hold its congress. Mbidi’s meltdown with the executive committee appears to have been, among other things, his inability to mend working relations with Secretary General Barry Rukoro.
The two have enjoyed a fractious relationship, which led to Mbidi at one stage firing Rukoro, who defied the President and continued reporting to the office, as he seemed to enjoy the support of the executive committee.
It appears that Rukoro’s contract expired but was extended by the executive committee. However, this decision seems to have not gone down well with Mbidi, who dispatched a letter of complaint to FIFA claiming Rukoro’s terms of employment had expired but he refused to vacate the Secretariat office.
In a strongly worded letter directed to the NFA in response to Mbidi’s complaint, FIFA’s Fatma Samoura wrote that FIFA noted the expiry of Rukoro’s employment to the NFA as Secretary General during April and that Rukoro was not re-employed thereafter.
“As such, we can confirm that FIFA no longer recognizes Mr Barry Rukoro as the Secretary General of the NFA,” read a part of the letter seen by www.thomaskwenaite.co.za.
“Rukoro no longer represents the NFA as his contract has expired,” said Mbidi. “But he is kept in the Secretariat illegally by some executive committee members against statutory provisions,” he added.
But a defiant Rukoro, who is described in Namibia as a cat with nine lives, defiantly claimed he was employed by the NFA and not FIFA, adding he would continue to report to the Secretariat as usual.
“As Fifa has put it, I am employed by the NFA,” said Rukoro. “The NFA, at their 2 June 2018 meeting, extended my employment contract to run concurrently with the term of office of the current executive committee, which ends in December 2018,” added Rukoro.
“After that meeting, the president (Frans Mbidi) briefed the NFA extraordinary congress, held on the same day, that the secretary general’s employment had been extended. The president, instead of being truthful, chose to mislead FIFA, and does not tell them about that resolution,” he countered.
“My issue with Fifa ends in the first paragraph of that letter; in that the issue of my contract falls outside their remit. The rest is for the executive committee to deal with. I will continue executing my responsibilities, just like before I received the letter from my good friend Lucas Victor through social media.”
The latest developments seem to indicate that Rukoro has won this round as well, reinforcing the myth that he is indeed a cat with nine lives as he enjoys the support of the executive committee.