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MBABANE – It was a dramatic start of the Eswatini National Netball Association (ENNA) executive first annual general assembly (AGM) as it was abruptly called off on Saturday on constitutional violations grounds.

  The association held its AGM at the OlympAfrica Boardroom in Lobamba, but the meeting was called off after almost three hours of heated discussions between the national executive committee (NEC) and the affiliates. Only four items on the agenda were exhausted, which among them were the president remarks, reading of minutes and matters arising. The Secretary General (SG), Bongiwe Gamedze, took the house by surprise before making her remarks. Gamedze was succinctly clear that the meeting did not follow the dictates of their law. She was not there when the AGM took off an hour later than the 1:30pm scheduled time, as she reported that she was running late to the meeting. Meanwhile, Mpendulo Mncina, Treasurer of the ENNA, arrived after 3pm and it was revealed that he did not report he was running late.

According to the constitution, the AGM is supposed to be held not later than the last day of May every year but that did not happen due to a crisis at the core of the NEC. The AGM was pushed further due to a special meeting held towards the end of May, after one failed attempt on May 10, 2023.  The association circulated a notice on May 2, 2023 informing its members on an emergency special meeting, it was to address ENNA executive status crisis.  However, this meeting also failed to take place after failing to reach a quorum. The special meeting, which also served as the association’s AGM, was then postponed to this past Saturday. However, it appeared that the NEC did not align this decision with the constitution, hence to render the AGM unconstitutional.  

According to the constitution, the secretary general shall notify all members of the date of the meeting at least 30 days prior to a meeting, together with its agenda and venue. All proposals and amendments shall be submitted to the secretary general not later than 21 days before the meeting. Such should be circulated to membership at least 14 days before the date of the meeting,” reads article 8.2(2) and (3) of the constitution. After the SG’s remarks, a crack among the NEC was further exposed and members wondered if they ever met ahead of the meeting, to among other things, compile the reports.

This publication last Wednesday reported on alleged factionalism, whereby a former executive member has divided the NEC. It was revealed that the SG and treasurer would be ousted out with a vote of no confidence on grounds of failing on their duties and defending the idea of women occupying the positions of SG and president. After Gamedze’s remarks, certain irregularities were exposed among the NEC such as the defeat of working as unity. The house was divided as some members felt the AGM should have carried on as per the assembly’s resolution during the special meeting. “I think it is now obvious that the meeting, as per the constitution, is not constitutional, so we have to call it off. We will sit down and discuss and follow the constitution. We will then notify you of the date for the AGM,” Mhlongo said, to end the meeting.