Term limits make UOC trend-setters in Africa
Posted Thursday, February 21 2013 at 02:00
All Sport. Uganda joins South Africa among a few known African countries with presidential term limits. The new UOC constitution allows a maximum eight years (two four-year terms) while their SA counterparts serve a maximum 12 years (three four-year terms).
Presidential term limits in the just approved 38-page 2013 Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) constitution do not only bode well for the future.
They give Uganda trend-setting bragging rights across East Africa and beyond. Apart from South Africa, the sports supreme bodies in Kenya, Tanzania and most of the rest of the continent have no term limits.
And following the approval of the new charter as adopted by the fresh UOC executive, led by acting president William Blick, the body could do some miles in checking the strong man mentality to the flourish of strong systems.
“An eligible individual shall serve as UOC president for not more than two elective terms or Olympiads or quadrennials,” reads in part article 14 (8) of the new constitution, which makes Uganda the only regional country with term limits.
Already in mix
It continues: “And may after his or her service be appointed to any commission, committee or other position.” This means should Blick, who has declared his intentions to run for presidency on March 9, win the election; the maximum eight years (two four-year terms) he will serve shall expire in 2021.
“We looked at the history of how sports has been managed,” shared Blick, “And we thought that if we put term limits we would force people to be more innovative, and we would force the development of structures and systems so that when individuals are gone, programs can actually continue running. “And when you look at the Olympic Committee, it was important for sustainability of programs, keeping sponsors and having good relationships with all sponsors.”
Blick added: “In that light we thought it was prudent to put a maximum of eight years in which someone can give his best and also allow other people can come into the system.”
The same constitution also created a patron’s body where all former presidents will sit and contribute, mostly in advisory roles, arbitration and looking for sponsorship.
Several manuals have also been put in place, according to Blick. They include operational, management, development and marketing among others.
“These manuals empower staff. What happened in the past was because there were no manuals. It was always the president managing everything.”
UOC was riddled with lack of accountability and dictatorship during late Francis Nyangweso and Roger Ddungu’s eras.
Nyangweso benefitted from absence of term limits for three decades while Ddungu faced an unceremonious exit in his third year of a first four-year term in 2012.