Masaka. With key players deeply drowned in electoral politics, Ugandan boxing is in fragile hands. The board of trustees, meant to sail the sports through the murky electoral process, is extremely divided.
Simon Barigo, the outgoing federation secretary general and Fred Kavuma, the former publicist are united against former president Kenneth Gimugu and former organising secretary Paul Ayiasi.
Barigo and Kavuma told the press yesterday that they will not tolerate Gimugu’s “malicious politics” which is putting “careers of young boxers at risk”.
They accuse him of personalising all official communication with Aiba, even when he knew the electoral process was not compliant with Aiba rules.
But the gravest charge was Gimugu’s arbitrary selection and submission of a tentative list of boxers for the Commonwealth Games without consultations with the technical staff. So strange is the list (dated September 1, 2017) that some boxers like ex-super heavy Julius Kawilo and former lightweight Bob Moses Asiya in Sweden and Pakistan are doing other business, while Paul Kayondo turned pro.
However, Gimugu refutes all the allegations as simply political. He said he is the official communicator to Aiba and did not break any rules.
“Those are political allegations…Kavuma and others concocted that list as a political tool,” he said. “They have been telling coaches that ‘your boxer is not on the list’ and those coaches have been calling me, bitterly complaining,” Gimugu said.
Because the federation was time-barred, the list he submitted was the one that summoned boxers for the African Championship trials. That list of over 40 boxers compiled by the technical team in April did not have the ineligible Kawilo, Asiya and Kayondo. Court issued an order blocking the November 11 polls.
The case is still pending. In a December 2 extraordinary assembly, Kavuma and others drew the roadmap for fresh elections. Arguing that the aforementioned injunction was against the returning officer, Edmond Okiror replaced Richard Lwanga as the returning officer and slated the new polls for January 20. Gimugu, a magistrate by profession, who was vying to retain his presidency in the aborted elections, did not pick nominations arguing that a court order should be respected.
The ideal situation, he told us on phone yesterday, would be that in when a matter is in court, it can only end in three ways: “court can resolve and give orders; parties can go for mediation or court can dismiss a matter. There’s no other way it.”