KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
DEPOSED Lusaka Playhouse chairperson Ken Phiri has opposed the intervention of the Registrar of Co-operatives in the ongoing wrangles at the theatre club, arguing that he is favouring the caretaker committee that was constituted following the dissolution of his board.
Phiriâ€™s board was dissolved by the members who alleged that they had overstayed in office and a caretaker committee, which has since called for a general meeting next Sunday, was instead constituted.
The Registrar of Societies then intervened, and offered some independent counsel, but Phiri argues that the advice is skewed towards the interests of the caretaker group.
â€œI am in receipt of your letter dated November 6, in which you have attempted to offer independent advice on the way forward with regards the happenings at the Lusaka Theatre Co-operative Society,â€ he writes in his three-page strong-worded protest letter to the Registrar.
â€œFrom the outset, I wish to protest the unprofessional manner in which your office has handled the wrangles at the institution. If your office had the real intentions of protecting the investment by the shareholders, you would have called for a tripartite meeting among the legitimately constituted board of directors, the so-called caretaker committee and your office as arbitrators. Instead, you met the caretaker committee without the board.
â€œConsequently, your advice is skewed towards the interests of the caretaker group.â€
Phiri is proposing the holding of the annual general meeting on or around December 13, after completion of the audit of annual accounts.
â€œYou will recall that several attempts have been made to hold the annual general meeting (AGM). By-law no 8.3.0 provides for the holding of the AGM as soon as possible after the completion of the audit of the annual accounts, which means an AGM will not be held unless the audited accounts are presented, deliberated on and adopted by the annual general meeting,â€ he argues.
â€œIn addition, the guidelines under the Co-operatives Act provide for the presence of an official from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries as an independent party to the deliberations.
â€œInternally, all such meetings must be sanctioned by the chairman of the Board of Directors after consultation of fellow directors. All such notices of the annual general meeting must be posted to the last known address of the shareholders and this notice be circulated 14 days before the holding of such meeting.â€
He says in order for the smooth-handover, there are a lot of issues that need clarification from various shareholders that should be resolved at the time of or before the AGM.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka