Some former Nyasa Big Bullets FC officials, trustees and fans plan to legally challenge Nyasa Manufacturing Company’s (NMC) takeover of the club.
The former officials and supporters have instructed private practice lawyer Lusungu Gondwe to apply for an injunction restraining the cigarette manufacturing company from proceeding with the takeover on the grounds that “it was done dubiously”.
The People’s Team former general secretary Harold Fote—who is the group’s spokesperson— on Wednesday claimed that, among other grounds, the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) which endorsed the takeover did not meet the constitutional requirement as only 48 out of over 300 registered members attended the meeting.
“The attendance was less than a third of the registered members. This is based on the attendance of an AGM [annual general meeting] held in Zomba earlier this year. In fact, the motion to change the club’s ownership was defeated at the Zomba AGM and the EGM does not have powers to overrule a decision made by the AGM.
“Another thing is that an EGM can only recommend to the AGM for ratification of a proposal. A decision regarding management of the club is also in the hands of a legitimately elected executive committee which is not the case with the current set-up as it is only an interim committee that was appointed by the supporters committee,” he said.
Fote also faulted the procedure that was used to offer the team to NMC, arguing that it should have been in form of an open bid, “as this was against the fair trade act and it has denied the club an opportunity of getting the best deal on the market”.
Bullets general secretary Albert Chigoga on Wednesday said they were aware “of the ploy by a group of some former officials and trustees to sabotage the NMC takeover.
“These people are meeting and discussing to sabotage the commercialisation process and our position is that if they obtain the injunction, they will have to serve it on us then we will see what grounds they have put forward.
“But they are fighting a losing battle because we are prepared for them,” he said.
According to the memorandum of understanding with the club, NMC will take full control of the club for the first five years after which they will list it on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) and own 70 percent shares while the remaining 30 percent will be offered to any supporter, investor or public.
Other conditions for the takeover include purchasing a team bus (already done), settling the team’s debts, acquiring or constructing a stadium, training ground with indoor facilities, three club houses (one in each region) and regional offices.
It also includes setting up an academy, distributing 10 percent of the club’s shares to supporters at nominal value, inclusion of directors appointed by the supporters in the board and allowing other partners to invest in the team.