5th March, 2013
To: Mr. Kevin Murphy
Dear Mr. Kevin Murphy,
Subject: Domain Incite agrees that “if UniForum did lie to the AU and other governments about submitting a Community application, it’s within the governments’ power to withdraw their endorsements… ” Rejoinder to Domain Incite regarding the Letter to Congress Part 2
DCA Trust has seen your commentary to our recent rejoinder: Nutty DotConnectAfrica gives DI a Good Kicking. http://domainincite.com/12044-nutty-dotconnectafrica-gives-di-a-good-kicking
You are not the spokesperson for UniForum.
We believe that there is no need for you to take an antagonistic posture towards DCA Trust. It is uncalled for. You cannot use your respected blog to promote tendentiousness in the .Africa matter. You are not the spokesperson for UniForum and you should not be partisan.
DCA Trust and UniForum have both applied for the same .Africa name string. This has since been acknowledged by ICANN. Attempting to ridicule DCA Trust that it applied for the wrong domain name is plain foolhardiness, if not outright chicanery on your part, and does not serve the cause of professionalism and journalistic integrity that you are supposed to uphold. You owe a duty to your readers to give them correct information; to wit, that DCA Trust applied for the .Africa name string, and the latest information from ICANN clearly indicates that as far as .Africa new gTLD is concerned, DCA and UniForum are in an Exact Matching Contention Set.
Everyone may recall that ICANN officially approved DCA’s change request for the .Africa name string. This was settled about six (6) months ago in what was clearly considered as an important victory scored by DCA Trust and a slap on the wrist against DCA’s opponentswho were hoping vainly to be the only applicants declared for the .Africa name string and get the gTLD by default. That episode already proved that DCA Trust can always stand its ground and will always defend its rightful position over the .Africa gTLD.
Stop Defending UniForum Wrongfully
We find it amusing that you will cite the fact that there is the presence of an RFP document (“The existence of the African Union’s November 2011 .africa RFP is not open to question. It’s a matter of public record”)as actual proof that a tender process took place. You really need to sharpen your reasoning faculties my friend; beyond the capabilities of “a 1995 computer science undergraduate” and stop relying on whatever UniForum is feeding down your throat to enable you defend their position whilst antagonizing DCA Trust.
A Presence of AU RFP Document does not Constitute Actual Proof of Tender process
Our contention remains that there was no tender process – that is, to the extent that the actual tender process did not take place – which based on our understanding is a legally-binding procurement action process duly operated as per tender law attracting competing submissions from different eligible bidders with a merit-based evaluated outcome, all conducted openly and transparently with full probity. In our estimation, this did not happen, the presence of a published RFP document notwithstanding.
Your analogy is laughable and is akin to arguing that because a certain country has a published electoral code, then it means elections were actually held and people voted. An electoral code is not the standard of proof that is required to demonstrate that elections have been held transparently on a free and fair basis.
AU RFP similar to rigged election process:
What we know is that if the election results have been rigged to favour one particular participant/contestant, the entire electoral process can be repudiated, and the outcome rejected as one of ‘no contest’ and the apparent rigging effort condemned as an act of illegality. We have therefore likened the (s)election of UniForum as a rigged tender outcome which is similar to the unacceptable results of a rigged electoral process. The contemporary history of Africa reveals that ordinary Africans no longer tolerate rigged elections, and are standing up to be counted on the side of good governance and the rule of law.
AU Tender Process is governed by AU Tender Board & not Mr.Vika Mpisane
We have repeatedly stressed the fact that UniForum was selected through a process that did not involve a Tender. We know what we are talking about, and you can perform some investigative journalism and verify this for yourself.
You have already acknowledged that you are not an expert in African procurement law. The AU procurement process is typically a merit-based procurement action that is usually governed by an official AU Tenders Board, and not by Mr. Vika Mpisane proposing and recommending that a particular organization (in this case, UniForum) should be selected because it has the backing of the AfTLD. We have always called for the results of that Tender Process to be published, and we also expect you to add your voice in the general interest of establishing the truth for the global public.
Prima facie evidence that UNIFORUM wanted Community ownership of a geographic TLD
On the issue of community, we have already exhausted that discussion on different occasions. There is preponderant prima facie evidence that they wanted Community ownership of a geographic TLD, and this formed the basis of the endorsement that UniForum received. DCA Trust has already highlighted this issue on many occasions, and this does not need any further elaboration. Even so, our communication to Mr. Neil Dundas of UniForum through the AfrICANN Forum which took place a few months back is linked herewith. We urge you to also publish it for the interest of your readers.
You agree that African governments should withdraw their support for UNIFORUM
However, as you have already acknowledged in your write-up,“if UniForum did lie to the AU and other governments about submitting a Community application, it’s within the governments’ power to withdraw their endorsements at any time”; we believe that only a process of accountability can lead to this; that is, to demonstrate that UniForum was required to submit a Community application. It was a necessary condition that was imposed upon UniForum, without which it would not have received the endorsement. In the proper juridical environment, this does not need a mountain of evidence to prove, and a proper case can be readily established without any difficulty.
DCA Trust would not accept a pay-off from UniForum
The long and short of our petition to Congress is to ensure that UniForum is held actually accountable so that its deception can be fully uncovered, and the endorsement that it has received withdrawn because of fraud and illegality. We assure you that we will prove our case against UniForum eventually. Therefore, there is really no need for you to keep suggesting that DCA Trust should accept a pay-off from UniForum. Perhaps, this is how you sold your own journalistic soul for tuppence by accepting some pecuniary gratification from those who sponsor you to antagonize DCA Trust.
Stop eating ‘warm Nutella’ and report on substantive issues
Finally, we are pleased that you eventually admitted that DCA Trust made a
‘fair point‘ regarding its recommendations to the U.S. Congress to appoint a new gTLD Program Ombudsman. Therefore, ‘nutty’ or not, we are happy that we wrote our letter to the U.S. Congress . Indeed, you should have given it the necessary credence and actually paid more attention to our letter to enable you perform a better service to your readers instead of trying to downplay and disparage it, whilst attempting to deride DCA Trust with the use of unnecessary insults and pejoratives.
You have now made a belated admission that perhaps you “should have reported the idea in a little more detail”. This is all we are asking from you as an impartial analyst, instead of spending an inordinate amount of time to gouge yourself silly on ‘warm Nutella’ like an undisciplined and naughty schoolboy whilst looking for ways to mock and antagonize DCA Trust.
You cannot kill DCA’s .Africa bid and we shall have the last laugh!
Please note that DCA’s application for .Africa gTLD is alive and cannot be killed off by anybody. Such conspiracies that are being contrived and hatched by the opponents of DCA Trust with the active connivance of DomainIncite will fail. Hopefully, DCA Trust would be able to establish its case against UniForum eventually, and we shall have the last laugh! Until then, we urge you to stop your antagonizing, hate-filled diatribes and name-calling attacks against DCA Trust over the .Africa saga, and to actually pay more attention to a proper examination of the pertinent issues with an open mind. On a lighter note, we strongly recommend that you should stop eating warm Nutella!
We again request your cooperation to publish this rejoinder to your most recent Blog posting on this subject matter.
We thank you in anticipation of your cooperation.
DCA Public Communications Team