Updated: Aug 16
It is important to note that court orders are not to be disregarded nor toyed with. According to the National Legal Service, a court order records an official judgment or way forward, as agreed by a Judge. Disobeying a court order leads to what is known as contempt of court. However, some individuals do not pay heed to the court order because they deem themselves to be above it. In cases like these jail time can be brought against such individuals.
It is baffling to understand why Eddy Kayihura has decided to ignore the court order currently against him. So let's go back to the beginning. On June 30, 2022, the court issued an interim order suspending Eddy as both the CEO and Director of AFRINIC, effective immediately. But by not stepping down as CEO and Director of AFRINIC, Eddy Kayihura has been held in contempt of court.
To understand Eddy's stance on this matter, we must first understand the man himself. Eddy, throughout his time as AFRINIC CEO and Director, has been known as being power-hungry, authoritative and manipulative. He uses the seat of CEO and Director as a means to lord over those he is meant to serve b forcefully ignoring and abusing the bylaws. So ignoring a lawful court order seems par for the course, all things considered.
What Does the Law Say
Rather than heed the court order and step down peacefully, Eddy has chosen to word-play by claiming the court didn't suspend his power as CEO but only as a Director, which is false. For more context and clarification on this matter, we must understand explicitly what the AFRINIC bylaws state.
Now according to Bylaws 17.4, it states that the "The Chief Executive Officer: shall have such other powers as may be delegated to him from time to time by the Board". In other words, this means that the powers of the CEO come from the delegation of the AFRINIC Board itself. Look at it this way, a politician without people to rule is simply a politician, or better yet, he is only a man.
And this is what the AFRINIC bylaws state. In other words, the CEO's power comes from the delegation of the Board. However, AFRINIC does not have a Board at the moment and the Court rightfully stated as much explicitly in a statement that reads "AFRINIC does not have a Board of Directors in existence as per the law".
So the logic is clear and straightforward. Because AFRINIC doesn't have a board. Eddy cannot act as the CEO. He is only just a man without a kingdom to rule over. These aren't subjective opinions, these are facts as per the Bylaws of the organization itself he claims to run. So what does this mean for Eddy and AFRINIC?
There are Consequences
It is simple. Eddy cannot and should not act as CEO since his position literally doesn't exist as things stand without a board. It also means that any staff or member of AFRINIC that carries out orders from Eddy can also be tried in the courts as acting criminally. The actions of Eddy and those who follow him to not adhere to the court order does not only place AFRINIC in a difficult situation but it also ruins the reputation of the organization as a whole and it's other members who could be trying to get the organization back on track.
However, it doesn't just end there with AFRINIC. These actions have ripple effects on the reputation of Mauritius as a financial center and tourist destination. Such actions by Eddy are embarrassing to the legal system in Muaritius and serious questions have to be raised about the country's ability or lack thereof to fight crime effectively.
The Many Faces of Eddy Kayihura
Eddy has been charged in contempt of the court 3 times, and yet there's another one. The member who filed the case has served him with yet another contempt notice. The actions of this one man threaten to destroy the reputation and years of goodwill built by the resource members. This one-man has a rap sheet that would even hardened criminals look soft in comparison.
He has been charged in contempt of court, disobeyed court orders and AFRINIC bylaws, and helped passing illegal resolutions such as Resolution 202201.666 and Resolution 202203.681 which allows him to use the company's and resource members' funds to settle personal disputes.
He made numerous outlandish claims stating that:
Every resource member must notify AFRINIC of all changes in its resource usage
AFRINIC has the power to limit a member's service to only 55 countries
AFRINIC has the right to monitor every-end user, so every member, i.e., Telecomms must submit such data to them.
It is suspected that Eddy also intervened and rigged the AFRINIC board elections to ensure that only one candidate was allowed to contest the election, but only the one candidate he had hand-picked. And despite the groaning and objections from resource members and a plethora of qualified candidates nominated by resource members, Eddy did not allow anyone he thought to be a threat to run for the election.
These are all heinous crimes but none so more than his ties with a known terrorist sympathizer and the main reason he was suspended by the courts.
Finding Light in a Dark Place
Going through the lowlights of this one man would ensure that we remain here for a prolonged time, such as the extent of his corruption and malfeasance. Clearly, this is a man who sees himself as a god with the power to do whatever he wants without anybody being able to stop him. Something must be done.
If something isn't done soon, the effects will have a damning and lasting effect on not just AFRINIC but the whole RIR system. Questions must be asked if we can't stop Eddy and the courts can't stop him, what is stopping other corrupt and power-hungry dictators like him from doing the same thing to other RIRs?
NRS has tried to do what it can but NRS cannot work alone. Many more resource members must step up, put fear and cowardice aside and fight for what's right. Because even in the face of tyranny, there is always hope. But we must not wait, we must not tarry before it is too late.
The document regarding contempt of court from one of Afrinic’s resource members: