Friday February 21 2014

UOC’s Rukare warns on accountability

By Sande Bashaija


The financial scandals hurting most local sports federations will not be tolerated at Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC), the body’s secretary general, has said.

Dr Don Rukare revealed days of tolerating financial impropriety in Uganda’s most powerful sports body were in the past. “We have had several problems before but I can assure you I won’t tolerate people that don’t provide accountability,” Rukare said while meeting UOC commission members at Lugogo recently. “Going forward, if anyone fails to account, I will open a police case against them. I am even ready to drag them to the police station myself.”

UOC receives funding from mother body, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but has previously struggled to account for funds leading to the failure of several developmental projects.

In 2009, for instance, UOC while still under the late Maj Gen Francis Nyangweso’s stewardship, failed to account for $100,000(about Shs240m) meant to prepare a team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Abusing those funds, donated by the Commonwealth Games Federation, partly led to the fall of Nyangweso’s regime in 2009. His predecessor Roger Ddungu was also kicked out of office in 2012 over financial impropriety and mismanagement.

While the current regime headed by William Blick has tried to steer clear of financial scandals, Rukare acknowledged that accountability is still a challenge for some members.
“We are actually planning to hold financial training for commissioners to make sure we don’t land in trouble again,” noted Rukare, who also heads the Uganda Swimming Federation. Several federations affiliated to UOC have for long bickered over money.