BOPEU 1st deputy president, Martin Gabobake, who chaired a chaotic NEC meeting at Cresta lodge on July 28 has narrated in Court papers the events that forced him to declare the State of Emergency.
According to him the meeting started well with everyone including President Mogwera in attendance as the General Secretary, Topius Marenga presented his report in its entirety;
Marenga’s report according to Gabobake was then followed by comments by members on a page by page basis; According to him there were no comments from any of the applicants until they reached page 7 item number 4.
“It was at this stage that the 3rd Applicant, Zibani Philemon insisted that the president and treasurer general should recuse themselves from the meeting as they were affected by the issue relating to secondment”.
It was at this stage that after the not so palatable engagement that the treasurer general and the President did recuse themselves.
When the President left, she did advice the meeting that in terms of the BOPEU constitution his deputy Martin Gabobake would exercise the powers of the President in terms of the constitution and would chair the meeting. Thereafter the meeting continued under the chairmanship of Martin Gabobake, the papers continued. “Immediately after the President and the Treasurer General left, the 3rd Applicant Zibani Philemon raised his hand and proposed the suspension of the President and Treasurer General.
I was taken aback as there was no debate that led to the proposal. He insisted that the President, Treasurer General have breached article 53.1 and 53.2 of the constitution of BOPEU.
As I tried to stop him to clarify issues, the said applicant(Zibane) continued to speak and the 5th Applicant, Motswaledi Monaiwa shouted ‘I second the motion’.
I tried to advice the house to cool down at this stage as everybody was speaking uncoordinated.
The meeting was clearly getting out
At one stage the 3rd Applicant stood up and spoke, interrupting Kenneth Matheakgomo from making his contribution. Two members of the committee stood up and this clearly demonstrated that things had gotten out of control.
I therefore exercised my rights as the acting president and invoked clause 30.1 of the constitution to declare a state of emergency. I there and then left and went outside and was followed by other members of the National Executive Committee (NEC).
I am advised by my attorneys of record and verily believe that on a proper construction of clause 30.1, if I form a view as I did in the circumstances of this case that an emergency existed I am entitled to invoke the said clause 30.1. I do confirm that this was done and in pursuance of the BOPEU constitution.
The interpretation sought to be attached to clause 53.1 that when such a decision is taken NEC has to be consulted is flawed in law and a complete misdirection”.
Gabobake also narrated that BOPEU constitution does not give anyone else except him the powers to act as president and chair NEC meetings, adding that the decision of the 2nd Deputy President to purport to have continued chairing the same NEC meeting after the declaration of State of Emergency cannot be lawful.
Gabobake also narrated that following his declaration of the state of emergency him and other members of the NEC left the boardroom with only ten remaining, adding that the ten that remained did not form a quorum.