Monday November 13 2017

Aiba behind aborted boxing elections

Mr Gimugu

Mr Gimugu 

By ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI & REGINA NALUJJA

KAMPALA- Neither returning officer Richard Lwanga, nor Justice James Karemani divulged details why court cancelled Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) elections which were slated for November 11.

Daily Monitor, however, has learnt that even without the court order, Aiba, the International Boxing Association, deemed the whole electoral process illegal.
According to an email, a copy of which Daily Monitor received, from Aiba responded to UBF’s request for an election observer by first reminding UBF of its legal obligation regarding elections.

“Dear Mr Gimugu, I hereby acknowledge your below email. Before appointing any AIBA observer to your upcoming elections, please be reminded that your Federation should have complied with AIBA Statutes and Bylaws with respect to the electoral process,” begun the November 4 email by Leila Zeraoula, Aiba senior legal manager.
Zeraoula invoked Article 37.2 of Aiba Bylaws:

“No National Federation’s election (or appointments) shall be recognised by AIBA unless the following information is sent to the AIBA Headquarters at least one (1) month before the proposed date of the election: (a) Date and place of General Assembly or Congress; (b) List of nominations for Presidency and Executive Committee (together with proof of their eligibility); (c) Agenda (d) List of delegates; and (e) Copy of most recent National Federation statutes, articles, constitution or bylaws in English and Word format; such documentation must be reviewed and approved by AIBA before any election may take place.”

She concluded by warning: “Failure by your Federation to comply with this process may result in the non-acceptance of the election results and suspension of all the National Federation’s membership rights until such time as a new election has been carried out in accordance with the AIBA Statutes and Bylaws.”
And upon receipt of the above documentation, Aiba reserves discretion to endorse the election.

Upon that information Robert Matovu filed a lawsuit against the returning officer hence the November 10 interim injunction, pending the main application November 15.
Matovu also contested the returning officer’s decision to bar him from vying for the first vice president-administration position for lack of an Interpol “certificate of good conduct.” That left Fred Kavuma unopposed.

Matovu told us that “the letter was optional, and could not rule me out.”
He also denied “working for Kenneth Gimugu” saying “In the fresh elections you would be surprised if I contest against him (Gimugu) for presidency.”
In the botched polls, the main contest pitted incumbent Gimugu against newcomer Moses Muhangi, who has a huge backing for the presidency. Gimugu assumed office in September 2013, during a cessation of administrative wrangles.

Kavuma, the outgoing UBF spokesman, heaped all the non-compliance blame on Gimugu and refuted Matovu’s claims of being politically eliminated.”
However, Lwanga and Gimugu had not responded to our calls by press time.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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