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Sakunda mediate in Dembare in-fighting

by Staff reporter
26 Jun 2022 at 08:09hrs | Views
Dynamos principal sponsors, Sakunda Holdings, have offered to help mediate and end hostilities by parties battling for control of the Premier Soccer League giants.

The energy giants were last September unveiled as the DeMbare sponsors in a multi-million-dollar deal that breathed life into the popular Harare outfit.

But barely had the ink dried on the deal than the factional fights that have characterised the country's biggest football club, resurfaced with a host of court battles becoming the norm.

Away from their team's championship title bid, the Dynamos leadership will be back at the High Court this week, this time for a determination on the seemingly endless saga over the club's constitution.

The Harare giants just like all the 18 top-flight teams had been on a two-week mid-season break and . They resumed their campaign with a clash against Yadah Stars at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

During the break Tonderai Ndiraya's men, who had 34 points, slipped to third place courtesy of an inferior goal difference after champions FC Platinum now with the same tally, were awarded maximum points for their abandoned game against Highlanders.

DeMbare suffered another setback to their title aspirations when they were fined by the PSL for violent behaviour by their fans that led to the abandonment of their showdown with Highlanders.

Bosso were on Thursday awarded the match on a 3-0 score line but not before incurring a fine of their own for the role their fans played in the disturbances that rocked Barbourfields.

But away from their on-field championship bid, the DeMbare boardroom matters will shift from the magistrates' court to the High Court on Wednesday following an application by board of directors, chairman Bernard Marriot Lusengo.

This comes amid a spirited campaign by a faction led by former winger Ernest Kamba to usurp control of the Glamour Boys from Lusengo's board of directors and replace them with a board of Trustees.

Kamba's group has been citing the club's 1963 constitution as the basis upon which the board of Trustees must take over.

But Lusengo contends that the 1963 constitution was repealed by virtue of amendments that gave birth to Dynamos Private Limited, a company, that now owns the football club.

Having observed with serious concern the threat the factional fights have on the Dynamos legacy and the negative impact it has on the current generation at the club, Sakunda Holdings have sought to assist the warring parties find each other.

It emerged on Friday night that the energy giants wrote to both Lusengo and Kamba suggesting that they undergo mediation by an arbitrator of their choice, with the costs of the efforts being bankrolled by Sakunda.

This also comes amid several calls by concerned parties, current and former players and administrators on the need to find lasting solutions to the recurrent Dynamos squabbles that have often driven corporate partners away.

Sources close to the goings on at Dynamos told The Sunday Mail Sport that "the spirit behind the mediation initiated by the sponsor is to ensure that the warring guys find each at Dynamos.

"They played together and surely for all their differences, they can still find one another again for the sake of this great institution which has immense potential to grow even bigger and ensure that those fighting for control can enjoy dividends while the current playing generation also reaps rewards,'' the sources said.

 Mediation efforts

The Sunday Mail has seen copies of letters sent to Lusengo and Kamba.

Rejection of mediation for which professional bodies such as the Harare Commercial Arbitration Centre are being suggested, could, however, impact negatively on the stability and future of the Dynamos ship.

Sakunda Holdings also confirmed that a number meetings had since been held with the Dynamos factions in a bid to end the in-fighting.

"We confirm that several meetings were held by the Sponsors' representatives and the club's warring camps from around September 2021 to June 2022 whereat the Sponsors sought to help resolve the current impasse involving the shareholding of the club, reads part of the letter.

"That notwithstanding, it appears that the historical issues have not yet been resolved. The Sponsors take the view that the quick and final resolution of the shareholder disputes is crucial to the smooth running of the club for the benefit of the shareholders, management, fans and the entire constituency of stakeholders.

"Considering the current situation, we are instructed to propose that a mediation process be conducted involving all the parties in dispute to allow for a resolution of the historical issues. The mediation process will be conducted without prejudice to any rights that each of the parties have and will have no effect on any past or present legal proceedings involving the parties. The parties can consult their professional advisors for guidance and representation in the whole process.

"Should the parties be amenable to the above proposal, we propose that the mediation be conducted by Advocate T. Magwaliba of Advocates Chambers and any Retired Judge(s) appointed by any of the following arbitral institutions in Zimbabwe:

Africa Institute of Mediation and Arbitration (AIMA)

Alternative Dispute Solutions Centre (ADSC)

Harare Commercial Arbitration Centre (CAC)''.

The letter also underscored the importance with which Sakunda viewed the need for peace and stability at Dynamos, which has a rub-on effect on the health of the domestic game.

"We advise that the sponsors take a serious view to the resolution of the impasse as it affects any future sponsorship deals. May we hear from you regarding the above proposal at your earliest convenience. We now await to hearing from you,'' Sakunda said.

The Court cases

Earlier, Dynamos lawyer Herbert Mutasa indicated that the matter at the High Court had also stalled another case that had been running at the magistrates' court where former board member Robson Rundaba, who is aligned to the Kamba faction  accused Lusengo of illegally awarding himself the majority of the club's shares.

In his defence at the magistrates' court, Lusengo, citing board resolutions, of the company, argues that Rundaba has no locus standi to challenge the Dynamos Private Limited shareholding structure.

Mutasa of Harare law firm, Gill Godlonton & Gerrans outlined the two court issues that have been rocking the administrative corridors at Dynamos.

"As you are aware, this matter (at the magistrate's court) involves a criminal report which was lodged by Robson Rundaba claiming to do so on behalf of Dynamos Football Club, even though he was not in possession of any mandate from Dynamos Football Club to do so.

"In apparent contrast to Robson Rundaba's claims, the Board of Directors of Dynamos Football Club (Pvt) Ltd passed a resolution to the effect that the report that had been made against its board chairman was mere harassment from some aggrieved outsiders,'' Mutasa said.

"The charges that have been raised against Mr Lusengo are, broadly speaking, based on the allegation that he misrepresented to Sakunda Holdings that he was the 51% Shareholder in Dynamos Football Club (Pvt) Ltd.

"There is no complaint by Sakunda Holdings to that effect.

"The commencement of the trial has been stalled by a few interlocutory matters, which have arisen, which include:

"The refusal by the Magistrate's court to refer for determination by the Constitutional Court of some constitutional issues which Mr Lusengo raised,'' he said.

He said it was on the basis of his contention that Lusengo escalated his challenge to the High Court.

"In the light of these violations, Mr Lusengo has now filed a Constitutional Application in the High Court of Zimbabwe to seek his remedies. That Constitutional Application which has not be opposed by any of the parties cited in it is now set to be heard as an unopposed matter in the High Court of Zimbabwe on June 29.

Source - The Sunday Mail