Polls at Royal Nairobi Golf Club in disarray over suit

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The Royal Nairobi Golf Cub founded more than 100 years ago. Photo/Courtesy

By KURIAN MUSA

newsdesk@reporter.co.ke

Two directors of Royal Nairobi Golf Club have moved to court challenging their suspension ahead of an election of key officials of the recreational facility.

Royal Nairobi Golf Club (RNGC) a registered public company limited by guarantee and not having share capital, suspended the two directors of the recreational facility for a period of six months.

More than 100 years old, it is Kenya’s oldest club that was founded as a 9-hole golf course and basic club house. It reciprocates with all other “Royal” chartered clubs worldwide.

Following the suspension of the duo, Zakayo Karimi, the director of the Golf Club and the vice chairperson of the board of directors together with Stanley Kirui also a director of the club and member of the board of directors, they moved to court to seek their continued stay in office as the case is heard and determined.

The two are aggrieved by a special board meeting of the golf club that suspended them from the club for period of six months. On October 19, 2016 they received the letters of suspension.

Justice George Odunga of Milimani law courts allowed the two directors to continue being in office till the case is heard and determined. However, the judge did not nullify all of the resolutions of the special board meeting.

In a sworn statement, Zakayo Karimi said: “There have been differences of opinion and disagreements within the Board of Directors in the manner the current chairman is handling the affairs of the club.

On the 16th October 2016 my co- applicant wrote an email to the members of the club responding to allegations made against him by the Chairman during a club night held on the 13th October 2016. I supported his position.”

Through Kabugu and Company Advocates, they said like all other members of the Board of Directors, were elected to serve for a term of one year on December 9, 2015 which is soon coming to a close.

On October 18, 2016, the two directors were served with a written ‘Summary of Complaints’ against them and required to respond. But they objected and requested that the meeting be adjourned to provide them with sufficient time to respond to the allegations. But they were thrown out of the meeting and deliberations made without them.

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Players on course at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club. Photo/Courtesy

In their court case, they pointed out that the Board of Directors, however constituted, and had no power under the rules of the club to discipline fellow members of the Board.

“The decision is to lock the applicants out of the forthcoming elections of the club since a suspended member cannot vie for elective positions in the club,” reads part of the application.

Adding that: “The respondent’s action is disdainful of the simple rules of natural justice and fairness.”

The court was asked to suspend the clubs board decision to safeguard the management of the club and future elections.

“The applicants were not provided sufficient notice of the meeting to enable them adequately prepare for the hearing,” argues the Advocates.

Founded in 1906 in 1906, Kenya’s oldest club The Royal Nairobi Golf Club (The UK “Royal” charter conferred on the club after King George V played a round of golf on the course) reciprocates with all other “Royal” chartered clubs worldwide.

It is Located off Nairobi’s Ngong Road, with a panoramic view of the Ngong Hills as one drives up the club’s entrance and walks down the fairway the first hole.

The Club hosts one of the most important amateur tournaments: The Tanahill Shield which was inaugurated in 1924 popularly known as the Easter Tournament and has since been played during the Easter Holidays.

It is arguably the most prestigious amateur golf event in Kenya. The finest Golfers in the country aspire to be selected to participate for their respective clubs – the criteria being the lowest handicap members.

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