This week, an image did the rounds on social media. It was a campaign poster of Fufa president Moses Magogo. Apparently, he has his eyes on the 2021 parliamentary seat for Budiope East.
And those who know these things say we might as well already append the title Honorable to his names.
Anyway, the image took me back to seven years ago, when to the disbelief of many and the relief of some, a still eligible Lawrence Mulindwa announced he wasn’t seeking re-election as Fufa president. That declaration kicked off a scramble for succession that quickly fizzled out when it emerged that Eng Moses Magogo was the only eligible candidate.
So, on August 31, 2013, Eng Moses Magogo was approved unopposed as Fufa president. He was the only candidate who could boast eight straight years on the executive and owner of a football club – deliberate and exclusive technical barriers erected to lock out the competition. He was clearly the chosen one, even if many still saw him as a puppet put in place to ensure continuity and evacuation, in case big man Lawrence Mulindwa rediscovered his appetite for football administration.
Lawrence Mulindwa did rediscover his appetite four years later but by then the Magogo locomotive had left the station.
Magogo had moved with lightning speed to ‘resolve’ the longest running feud in local football administration. It helped that he knew how these things worked.
The twin-leagues continued to baffle everyone and even if agreement was never arrived at, the silence of the bickering parties was eventually procured.
With that out of the way he went on to negotiate a new sponsorship deal for The Cranes by Airtel after the MTN deal run its course.
If the Airtel deal wasn’t enough to convince doubters about his competences and sense of judgement, what happened over the rest of his first term must have.
From backing Gianni Infantino when the African block was firmly behind money bags Sheik Salman bin Eibrahim al-Khalifa in 2015, through getting appointed on to the Caf Exco, and to presiding over our first Afcon in decades, Eng Moses Magogo first term was a solid demonstration of not only good judgement but also an education on how to leverage football politics for the ‘good’ of the game. Whoever was his teacher had done a good job.
That didn’t necessarily diminish football problems. The legal matters around USL remain unresolved to date. I don’t think it ever ranked high enough as a priority and there are many other circumstances in which I could say that his abilities have served his political ambitions more than they have, Uganda’s football.
But the competition in Budiope East have been warned. Eng Moses Magogo is a smooth operator and beneath that civil servant demeanour is a cold calculative politician.
Oh, and rumours that he will seek another Fufa term in 2021 continue to flourish. We are talking Member of Parliament and Fufa president here, folks. Greedy perhaps. Unprecedented certainly. Possible?
Let me just say I won’t be betting against it.