Dec 03, 2016 Sports
Joseph Britton claims 4 (d) of GCF constitution breached
By Sean Devers
The Guyana Cycling Federation (GCF) is in turmoil following the dissolving of the federation
which has been replaced by an Interim Management Committee (IMC) following concerns by some of the cyclists and their clubs.
During an Extraordinary General Meeting at Olympic House on Wednesday last 9 of 11 clubs (Team Coco’s and W S United were absent) voted on the motion that the GCF be dissolved and replaced by an IMC.
The IMC will run the affairs of the sport including amending the constitution which according to Vice President of Carlton Wheelers Cycling Club Malcolm Sonaram, is flawed in some areas.
According to Sonaram, the constitution allows for an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held to replace the GCF with an IMC until the matters and issues are ‘sorted out’ once clubs are dissatisfied with the level of administration and other indiscretions perpetrated by the present GCF.
‘The COUNCIL may call an Extraordinary General Meeting whenever they may think fit. Notice in writing of the objections of such meeting and of the time and place fixed for holding of same shall be given by the Secretary to each member and member club at least seven (7) days previous thereto, except in the cases of emergency when the Council may authorize shorter notice be given’, states 4 (d) of the GCF constitution.
Assistant Racing Secretary of the GCF and Secretary of Carlton Wheelers Cycle Club, Joseph
Britton argues that nowhere in the GCF constitution states that members can dissolve the federation, which he claims can only be done by the General Council.
”They have breached the constitution on at least two accounts. The members after holding a meeting must write the secretary outlining their grievances and intention to hold a vote of no-confidence. The Secretary is the only one authorized to inform the members of a meeting and only the General Council has the constitutional power to call such a meeting.
Britton claims he was not informed about the meeting and stated that Andrew Arjoon, who proposed the vote, resigned his position as GCF’s Second Vice-President at the last General Council meeting before this issue was raised. Arjoon’s proposal was seconded by Sonaram.
Sonaram insists that the IMC is legal since all nine of the clubs present voted in favor of the decision to dissolve the GCF and will try to solve the problems and hold Elections next year. The next AGM and Elections is set for March 2018.
Among the concerns of the nine clubs was that President of the GCF Horace Burrows lives and works in the USA but when asked why did the members vote for someone who resided overseas?, Sonaram said that during the Election period Burrows made all sorts of promises.
”One of the things that I am actually looking forward to is working with the clubs. I want to work with every club and not to be biased; I want to make sure that every club does its duty in taking a part of the federation and doing what they are supposed to do.” Burrows had stated on being elected GCF President last year.
He said that being resident in the USA would not affect his effectiveness as President since he is home for four to five times yearly spending over one month on each occasion. Arjoon claims those promises have not been kept.
Immediate past Secretary Gemma Williams, who volunteered to assist new Secretary Maria Leung, was the person who sent out the information about the meeting which was allegedly called by former Cyclist Linden Dowridge.
Leung stated that she never knew about the meeting until she saw the story on Facebook while Williams declined to comment on the matter. Head of the GCF Racing Committee Hassan Mohamed said he thought the 11 clubs should have written to Burrows asking him to resign because he was not doing a good job for the federation since he was living in the USA and should have not been elected in the first place.
The veteran cycling official, who is a member of the Carlton Wheelers Cycle Club, said that
Britton was aware of the meeting. When contacted for a comment on the matter, President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) K. A Juman Yassin said he did not have a copy of the GCF constitution so he could not say if they should have had a no-confidence vote or had the power to dissolve the GCF.
A source indicated that the GOA head was present at Wednesday’s meeting but Yassin said he was at Olympic House for the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) Elections.
”I was not at the cycling federation meeting and I left before the meeting started. I was not there in any advisory capacity. I spoke briefly with some of the guys before leaving,” Yassin stated, when asked if as a former Magistrate he offered any legal advice.
When asked what are his thoughts on the way forward, the long severing GOA boss said first of all a letter informing the GOA of the names of the two persons who will be allowed to vote at the GOA Elections must be sent.
”We will have to look at their constitution and see what it says but we don’t interfere with the way associations or federations are run. The GCF has been one of the delinquent ones in that they often fail to attend GOA meetings. We hold meetings every month and the GCF has not attended four meetings for the year,” Yassin disclosed.
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