Mukesh Shukla’s 11th hour inclusion onto the coveted list of candidates to take-over as chairman of Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) has had tongues wagging in the fraternity.
An earlier deadline of February 10 had ruled out the former vice chairman but after his club Kampala Institute of Cricket Clubs (KICC) ‘nominated’ him, the businessman took advantage of the ‘non-binding deadline’ ahead of the elective assembly due tomorrow at Kati Kati Restaurant, Lugogo.
Shukla’s late entry raised the number of contestants to the top job to three with Nile’s Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasira and Tornado’s Paul Luswata Nsibuuka already in the fray whereas Eric Kamara (Wanderers) and incumbent Jeremy Kibuukamusoke (Tornado Bee) are vying for UCA secretary.
After complying with the National Council of Sports (NCS) sports regulations of 2014, UCA CEO Justine Ligyalingi revealed that other posts have been quashed and the mandate will be with the new chairman to appoint working committee heads including but not restricted to Finance, Disciplinary, Marketing and Games.
Outgoing chairman Richard Mwami, despite being eligible for another term, says he will not be standing pushing each camp to seize the occasion.
“It is about bringing fundamental change and not just a change of guards,” said Shukla, also the vice chairman of NRM Entrepreneurs League in Kampala Central.
“There is also a basic area of concern which is financial transparency. We also have one ground and yet we should be with five from the strategic planning I did as vice chairman in 2009 under Dr Kato Sebbaale.”
But for Alvin Bagaya, who is from Ansasira’s camp, it is about giving the power of elections back to the people. “Many things have happened the wrong way lately,” said Bagaya.
“But if Badu is elected then it will be all systems go again. His plan is not out this world and if you have read his manifesto, it is very practical. His passion for the game is also unrivalled and the electorate seems to favour our candidate.”
Robert Kisubi, who is the campaigning manager of Nsibuuka, however believes many of the younger guys are rushing to takeover and advises that they should wait for their time.
“Our club always votes for the best candidate who is by a coincidence a Tornado this year,” said Kisubi.
“He understands the game well, captained Uganda and is from a cricketing family of the Luswatas. From his world as a banker to financial consultant, Nsibuuka’s corporate governance will be key. He is his own man, the ambassador our game needs.”
Candidates for chairman
Ansasira ‘Badu’ Bashir - Nile CC,
Paul Luswata Nsibuuka – Tornaddo
Mukesh Shukla – KICC
Candidates for secretary
Eric Kamara – Wanderers
Jeremy Kibuukamusoke – Tornado Bee
* Each of the 8 voting clubs will have a board member