All this Rollers hullabaloo could have been avoided

The Gaborone High Court last week released the judgement on the long standing court case in the ongoing tussle for the running of Township Rollers. And when it came out, it was as I had expected. All the same it hasn’t solved much but just reminded us of all that we know and should have been done.

I’m pretty sure even the respondents in the case knew what the outcome would be. It’s just that they were in denial. All procedure was flouted and the court case would have been avoided had some people not been stubborn to think that their ‘riches’ make them all powerful and immune to reason and advise.

The major bone of contention was the legitimacy of the current leadership that took some pivotal decisions that concern the team without consultation with the rightly elected Committee. All the hullabaloo is about the way the current leadership sidelined some members of the Township Rollers Football Club Society Committee and moved to privatise the team.

The Applicants had argued that the Township Rollers Society’s leadership was sidelined while infact it should have been the one making the decisions on the privatisation of the team. This was basically a tussle for supremacy between once allies Somerset Gobuiwang and dislodged erstwhile Chairman Spencer Mmui.  Mr Mmui is still adamant that he is the rightful Chairman of Township Rollers and the judgement has brought him back into the fold. After being so sidelined, he is now in the mix and should be listened to.

As it is now, had the two parties given each other an ear, we wouldn’t have even had a court case. It is just that some people were stubborn and thought they were all powerful. Arrogance and a sense of entitlement is to blame for all this hullabaloo. Since the court case was registered, a lot has changed and it will be interesting as to how things will move forward.

The judgement has changed everything and now those people who never talked to each other will certainly have to talk, whether they like it or not, whether they like each other or not. They have to take the judgement into consideration and sit and iron out their differences. The High Court reiterated that the Club’s Society should have more of a say and should be involved in the running of the Club. That is the bottom line.

Township Holdings currently runs the affairs of the Club and High Court Judge Leatile Dambe has ruled that the current dispensation contradicts the Society’s Act, and tramples on the Society’s Constitution. High Court judge Leatile Dambe ruled that the Club’s Society, and not Township Holdings should run the affairs of the club. Township Rollers is registered as a Society and a private company cannot run a Society.

While the two warring factions slug it out, I wonder what could be going on in financier JagDish Shah’s mind. He has bankrolled the club in recent years and none of the factions would want to see him leave. However he would also not want to be involved in a slug fest. At the end of the day; the team needs money to run and whoever has the ‘mandate’ to run the Club affairs will have to find a way to work with him.

I just hope that the hullabaloo won’t scare him away and scare other potential investors. This issue needs to addressed with care and egos and arrogance put aside. The two warring factions need to sit and hear each other out and come to a decision that will benefit the club and not individuals.

There are similar cases brewing at two other local giants. Maybe theirs won’t be as messy but will most certainly pit friends against friends. Once again, any fracas can be avoided if there is compromise. This Township Rollers FC High Court ruling will teach warring factions within clubs to sit around a table and resolve their issues without wasting time and money in Courts of Law.

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