KAMPALA. Former Uganda Table Tennis Association chairman Francis Mulinda challenged the current administration on Uganda’s declining record on the international level.
Mulinda, a former player, who represented Uganda on several international events, also led the UTTA through the ‘90s, arguably the glory days of the sport in Uganda.
He used the opportunity to address all table tennis stakeholders when they gathered at the Uganda Olympic Committee recently to celebrate several players who won medals at events abroad last year.
“Jjagwe you have done your best to take table tennis forward, but remember 23 years ago, under my leadership, we were in the Olympics but today you are nowhere,” Mulinda told current chairman Robert Jjagwe in a hoarse animated tone that attracted laughter from the audience, but many nodded to these candid remarks.
In Mulinda’s era, Paul Mutambuze played at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, the Ugandan table tennis player to hold a racket at the Olympics. In 1999, Maria Musoke, another beneficiary of Mulinda’s regime, won bronze at the 1999 All-Africa Games, the last Ugandan player to win a medal at the continental Games.
Mulinda had meanwhile chosen to associate with the breakaway faction led by Douglas Kayondo, who has since 2016 fought to scrap Jjagwe from table tennis administration. But Mulinda seems to have changed his heart, and returned to Jjagwe “for the good of the sport.”
He also advised Jjagwe to befriend the National Council of Sports if he is to restore sanity and progress to the sport.
On the same forum, Uganda Olympic Committee general secretary Don Rukare advised the UTTA to organise tournaments here to allow the local umpires a chance to launch their quest for international presence.