[Community-Discuss] [members-discuss] Board update on Governance Committee Report

Andrew Alston Andrew.Alston at liquidtelecom.com
Thu May 10 12:53:11 UTC 2018


Since the board has refused to table the actual GC report and let us see what is it in, sending it back and asking the GC for another one is pointless.

Let the board disclose the first one then we can judge if anything more is needed


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From: Komi Elitcha <kmw.elitcha at gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2018 2:13:50 PM
To: Noah
Cc: General Discussions of AFRINIC; AfriNIC Discuss
Subject: Re: [Community-Discuss] [members-discuss] Board update on Governance Committee Report

Good day Noah, board and community,

Thank you Noah  for pointing out a range of issues and that the board should send back the report to GC and task them to come up with another clear, reducted and meaningful report that will not present legal and data protection issues.

This should be done within a maximum of two weeks according to me.

I humbly think the board owe this level of TRANSPARENCY to his community.


2018-05-09 17:39 GMT+00:00 Noah <noah at neo.co.tz<mailto:noah at neo.co.tz>>:

On Sun, May 6, 2018 at 10:53 PM, Abibu Ntahigiye <abibu.ntahigiye at gmail.com<mailto:abibu.ntahigiye at gmail.com>> wrote:

Dear Afrinic Members,

The Board in March 2018, as per resolution 201803.391, tasked the Governance Committee (GC) to convene an investigation on allegations made by a staff member. The GC was requested to define the Terms of Reference (TORs) for an independent investigation, and to appoint an investigation committee.  The Board requested the findings to be reported by 30 April 2018.

The GC notified the community that they would deliver the report by 4 May 2018, and has submitted the report to the Board on 2 May 2018. The Board acknowledged receipt of the report. The Board is going to thoroughly consider the report and recommendations thereof, and will share with the community applicable actions and steps that will be taken in due course.

The Board has also been advised that in considering the report they need to be cognizant of issues of confidentiality and data protection.

With regards to allegations made against certain Board members, the Board can announce the following outcomes as derived from  the report:

  *   That there was a violation of the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and  section 153 of the Companies Act 2001, by Mr Sunday Folayan.

  *   That there is no evidence whatsoever against Haitham El Nakhal of having breached the terms of the NDA and/or section 153 of the Companies Act 2001.

  *   That the Investigation Committee (IC) is satisfied that there was no evidence of harassment, bullying or intimidation by Board members.

The Board will re-evaluate the interim Chair and Vice Chair appointments that were made in resolution 201803.398.

With regards to allegations made against certain members of staff, the Board observed from the IC report  that there may have been inappropriate behaviour on the part of certain staff members.

The findings and recommendations related to staff matters will be addressed through necessary processes.

We appeal to the community to allow the Board time to consider the report carefully, and provide feedback to the community no later than 31 July 2018 on the next steps and how the recommendations will be implemented.

Kind regards


Abibu R. Ntahigiye

Chair, Afrinic Board.

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Dear Chairman,

Thank you for your email and I would like to draw your attention to a number of issues that the Board's update on the yet to be disclosed GC report raises issues considering the contents of the document that found itself on this public mailing list regarding AfriNIC staff complains of harassment.  On the whole, your message to the community appears to not clearly explain the real issues and seems to be an attempt to exonerate board members yet this was never about the entire board but rather complains about some specific members of the board and I will try to explain what I mean.


It is obvious to this community that a member of the board shared private privileged information contrary to the Company Act section 153 as rightfully quoted in your email. This was even acknowledged by the director who happened to be the Chair of the board at the time.  He has since resigned after the community and the membership held them to a higher ethical standard.

We can see from incontrovertible evidence shared in the chat messages that both Chair and his Vice acted unethically engaged the CEO to privately discuss HR issues related to a member of staff that even the CEO was unaware of but yet also entertained it. To my understanding, good governance practices requires that the board should operate in such a way that it has nose-in,  hands-out. In circumstance where the CEO allows some of the board members to have hand-in and nose-in, the CEO also should have escalated to the entire board.  That is why there is a reason for separation of roles/powers in organizations.

In my humble opinion, these private chats alone were further evidence of unethical behavior with all the hallmarks of work-place harassment if you consider the contents showed in those discussions;

- the Directors undermined a member of staff who up to this point had been regarded as competent with unduly excessive and unfair criticism, deliberately constraining their ability to perform their duty
- the Directors made threats/comments about the staff that relate to the employees job security without foundation and this is a form of work-place harassment.
-  the Directors engaged in the spread of malicious rumors about staff which is a form of work-place harassment

It stands to reason that the former staff who shared private chats with the Chair with the complainant would have been at the brunt of similar activity resulting in the claims of a witch-hunt against them in the document circulated on the mailing list. As such there is no way we can claim that there was no harassment yet work-place harassment can manifest itself in quite a number of ways.


Let me also point out to this community and the board, what I believe would be additional forms of harassment both ethically and morally.
- Insulting someone
- Unfair treatment based on gender or language
- Other misuses of power or position

Again, from the document that found itself on the mailing list, it was pretty obvious to all of us that  inappropriate language was used by a member of staff and from your communication Mr.Chair, its pretty much determined that there was such form of harassment, which is why its always important for such HR issues to be resolved equitably when they arise so that staff do not feel unfairly treated.  The staff are at the heart of the organization and AfriNIC needs to make sure that it will ensure a conducive working environment for all members of staff both male and female.

I therefore call upon the board and management to sort out the looming human resource challenge facing AfriNIC today. We should never find ourselves in such situations considering the risks and reputation this has towards the organization.


To conclude my submission, let me point out that the resolution passed by the board to task the GC to come up with Terms of Reference for the Investigation Committee in order to avoid conflict of interest on the past of the entire board was the proper thing to do and this reasoning should be followed to the end though I am surprised that the board tasked the GC to formulate the ToR, engage an IC but did not consider the privacy and confidentiality Implications of the process when it was clear that the community requested and expected an independent assessment of the situation and not a board view of the assessment.

It is more surprising that the board did not anticipate the course of things and has now requested for more time to go through the report  and so far we have not heard of any concrete actions or measures taken towards the staff issues.  Despite the time that has passed, we are also not clearer than when the allegations were made save for the undeniable evidence that was shared.

Its my personal recommendation that the board send back the report to the GC who should engage the IC to come up with a report that will not have legal implications to the organization due to the local Data Protection Laws. This should then be shared with the community and membership in my humble opinion.


In terms of governance going forward, I believe the community and  the membership want to see measures in place that will ensure a safe and conducive working environment for the staff and the organization at large. The board still has great opportunity to sort out a whole range of issues including improvement of existing measures in place.

This are my 2 cents dear community


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