A club member Mr Crispin Okeke sued the club management after receiving a disciplinary letter from Captain Royal Nairobi Golf Club which arbitrarily suspended him for one month from golfing activities at the club, as of 16th February 2021. However, he claimed that he was neither served with any complaint by the captain nor given notice of any disciplinary hearing contrary to the clubs’ by-laws
By The Weekly Vision
The management of the Royal Nairobi Golf Club has come under heavy criticism from a cross-section of club members over what they term as highhandedness. The criticism follows hue and cries over claims of intimidation of members leading to unnecessary suspensions and expulsions. A case at hand is that of Mr Crispin Okeke who was unceremoniously suspended by the club management without following laid down procedures. Through a Judicial review in the High Court in Nairobi, Judge J. Chigiti (SC) noted that the management acted against the law while suspending Mr Okeke. Mr Okeke had sued the Board of Directors of Royal Nairobi Golf Club, Captain Royal Nairobi Golf Club and Dr Constantine Barasa, a Member and Director. He had been suspended from golfing activities at the club.
The club’s board members are Jatinder Singh (Chairman), Charles Kariuki (Vice Chairman), Peter Kamau Mwangi (Captain), Dr Richard Owino (Vice Captain), Harman Marwa (Treasurer), Evans Kiplimo (Secretary), Nancy Wamnbui (Director), Eng. Gicheru Kimani (Director), Hezron Arunga (Director) and Jacob Omondi who is the General Manager.
On the 12th of February 2021, Mr Okeke received a disciplinary letter from Captain Royal Nairobi Golf Club which arbitrarily suspended him for one month from golfing activities at the club, as of 16th February 2021. However, he claimed that he was neither served with any complaint by the captain nor given notice of any disciplinary hearing contrary to the clubs’ by-laws.
Mr Okeke revealed that he wrote letters to the captain seeking to appeal the arbitrary decision, which letters were never responded to. He maintains that the decision and actions of the Royal Nairobi Golf Club against him were illegal, irrational, unreasonable, disproportionate, and based on irrelevant considerations for failure to provide any valid reason for the same decision.
But the club through Christine Sabwa, the honorary secretary of the Royal Nairobi Golf Club claimed that a complaint was made against Mr Okeke by the club’s captain who was referred to the Club’s Rules and Enforcement Sub-Committee of the Match and Handicap Committee. In his ruling dated 5th May 2023, the judge noted that “Flowing from the aforementioned determination, I make the following orders: An order of Certiorari is hereby issued quashing the Respondent’s letter dated 12th February 2021 suspending the ex-parte Applicant”.
He further ordered that “Mandamus is hereby issued compelling the Respondents to immediately remove and/or expunge from the Applicants, records of the club and any purported disciplinary records as per the letter from the 2nd Respondent dated 12th February 2021”. As if that was not enough, the judge further ordered that “An order of Mandamus is hereby issued compelling the Respondents to issue an official, unequivocal and public apology read out by the 2nd Respondent during the next four (4) club night presentations”.
The judge ruled that “An order of Mandamus do issue compelling the Respondents to publish a copy of the said apology to the Applicants be placed and maintained on the Respondents Notice Boards at the Club for a period of thirty (30) days”.