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Boxers protest against sale of Kampala Boxing Club gym

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The boxers and their coaches take their activities to the streets outside their

The boxers and their coaches take their activities to the streets outside their gym in Kisenyi, Kampala to protest the said sell of the gym. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 

By  ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI

Posted  Monday, June 30   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

The boxers have, amidst calls for a peaceful demonstration, asked that their gym which was reportedly sold off, be returned to them.

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Kampala- Traffic and business along Kafumbe Mukasa Road in Kampala came to a halt for more than an hour last Friday morning when boxers, administrators, coaches, promoters and gym operators staged a demonstration in the middle of the road protesting against the reported sale of the plot housing Kampala Boxing Club (KBC) gym.

It is alleged that Hajjat Misa Kabanda, the chairperson of finance, board of Trustees in charge of Nakivubo stadium connived with Sports Minister Charles Bakkabulindi and sold off the horizontal plot that houses the oldest and most prominent boxing gym in Uganda to one Bosco Muwonge.

Unidentified men, armed with guns and machetes are also reportedly seen at night inspecting the place.

The protestors took to boxing from the street as a sign of dissatisfaction with the alleged clandestine deal. “It is quite disturbing that someone thinks that you simply wake up one morning and push us away as though we are dogs,” veteran coach Muhammad Hassan, told the Daily Monitor during the standoff.

Ms Maureen Mulangira, a promoter, said no one has the right to evict boxers from “their home”. ”This gym has been here since 1954, before many of us were born, so we are not going anywhere unless the whole Nakivubo (Stadium) is relocated”.

When Ms Kabanda was contacted, she dismissed the allegations as baseless. ”Let them show you the eviction notice before anything else,” she said. ”No one, not even the President (Museveni), is allowed to sell a State property like Nakivubo stadium without the approval of Parliament,”.

On what could have incited the protestors, she said: “Those are goons looking for money.” She added that some gym owners were asking for money from the Nakivubo board, which they never got so they decided to riot. Ms Kabanda could, however, not explain clearly what that money was meant for.

Several attempts to speak to Mr Muwonge were futile because he failed to respond to our calls while Mr Bakkabulindi’s known phone numbers were turned off.

ASP Emmanuel Ochamringa, the OC Station Old Kampala Police commended the protestors for not being violent and promised to help them.

assemugabi@ug.nationmedia.com