Former Namibia Football Association (NFA) secretary general Barry Rukoro’s appeal against his former employer was dismissed by the office of the labour commissioner, with the arbitrator saying Rukoro was not unfairly dismissed but his employment contract ended.
Rukoro, who served as head of the NFA secretariat for almost 12 years, was last year unceremoniously ushered out of Football House by the now disbanded Fifa Normalisation Committee with the assistance of the police. Rukoro then moved to contest his removal as unfair and unwarranted, subsequently launching an appeal with the labour commissioner. Formulating his award, arbitrator Biatha Moonde found that Rukoro was not dismissed by the Fifa Normalisation Committee but rather his employment contract with the local football federation came to end due to effluxion of time.
Moonde also found that Rukoro’s contract was not on a permanent basis (until reaching the age of 60), but was on a fixed-term contract.
“I, therefore, find the matter in favour of the respondent based on the circumstances surrounding the extension [of Rukoro’s contract] and clause 2 of the employment contract. Based on my findings in this matter, I decided to make the following order: that the matter is dismissed; that all claims are dismissed; that there is no cost order and this award is final and binding and resolves all issues between the two parties…,” reads the arbitrator’s final award.
Reached for comment, Rukoro confirmed the outcome of his appeal and said it was too early to state if he will appeal the outcome or not. “It is really a bit too early to say, but I will consult with legal minds first and decide from there what the best way forward will look like. But for now, that is the outcome; we move on and see what’s next,” said the long-serving football administrator.
On the FA side, the association’s acting secretary general Franco Cosmos said he is pleased the NFA has been vindicated by the labour commissioner’s office, especially the part where the public was accusing them of unfairly dismissing Rukoro.
“I’m just happy that our decision has been vindicated by the arbitrator and from the onset we have always maintained that he [Rukoro] was never dismissed procedurally, but the fact was that his contract with the NFA ended but he stayed on. So, I’m happy with the outcome and that this is now a closed chapter. But who knows, maybe he will appeal with the higher courts and the whole thing might again brag on but for now, I’m happy we have been vindicated,” said Cosmos.