Saturday January 18 2014

NCS chocking on petitions against athletics body

By Jacinta Odongo

National Council of Sports (NCS) have admitted there are issues that must be addressed before the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) assembly is held.
The assembly is scheduled for January 25 at Lugogo but several stakeholders have petitioned NCS and other top sports bodies challenging the manner in which UAF are handling the build-up to the event.

“We have received a massive 15 petitions,” NCS chairman John Bosco Onyik told Saturday Monitor on Thursday. He added: “UAF should not ignore the petitioners. They must try to reach a compromise with them to avoid a stalemate in future.” Onyik said he also advised the UAF executive during a meeting at Lugogo on Thursday to appoint a neutral returning officer to handle the electoral process.

“We think they should have someone who is not from the sports world as the returning officer,” Onyik said. “We gave them an example of the boxing federation who last year selected a lawyer to act as their returning officer. The boxing elections went smoothly.”

UAF had nominated Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) president William Blick as the returning officer.

Among the petitioners are 12 districts. Seven of the districts are from Lango sub-region. They are Lira, Apac, Oyam, Otuke, Amolatar, Kole, Alebtong and Dokolo. Other petitioners include Lira Municipality, Jinja, Mbale, Kapchorwa, Kween, Bukwo and schools (primary and secondary) associations.

Majority of the petitioners said they were blocked from participating in the elective assembly on flimsy grounds. Onyik said NCS would not hesitate to take action incase the complaints are not addressed very soon.

UAF organizing secretary Fautino Kiwa though said the petitioners were only politicking. “NCS wanted clarification from us about the petitions and we presented our case,” Kiwa, who is seeking re-election, said. The athletics federation has for long been seen as a stable body but recent events now suggest they are taking a similar path with football and boxing bodies that are synonymous with administrative wrangles.