After a meeting described as “raucous,” “contentious,” and a “near riot,” the Diamond Dealers Club decided to retain its term limits for elected positions.
The proposal was part of a package of bylaws changes, which required two-thirds approval to pass. In the end, proponents fell short of that two-thirds. Opponents argued that current president Jacob Banda has served in office for four terms, or eight years. The maximum used to be three terms, but two years ago the bylaws were changed to allow for a fourth term, which Banda ran for and won. These members worried that eliminating the term limits would effectively make him “president for life.”
Banda, who all sides admit works hard and has the support of many members, said he had “no position” on the bylaws change and wasn’t sure whether he wanted to run for president for a fifth term, noting his job takes up a lot of time. He said he didn’t even want to run for a fourth term but was “pushed” into doing it.
The club’s board approved the rule change almost unanimously, with the sole “no” vote coming from the club’s vice president, who may run for president himself.
One board member noted the change was drafted by the club’s lawyer, and said it was an attempt to reduce the expense of elections.