The gun aside, Brigadier Jackson ‘Bell’ Tushabe loved the ball - and all that came with it. Until his death yesterday morning at Nakasero Hospital, Tushabe had been bedridden since 2010, which inevitably led to the folding of some sports projects like Victors FC that he had birthed to quench his burning desire for football.
Lest we forget, Tushabe was a shrewd administrator who served as vice president in charge of competitions during Lawrence Mulindwa’s reign (2005-2009) and was also chairman Super Division Clubs Association (SDCA).
“He loved football until the day he breathed his last. All the time he has been bedridden, Afande has been watching and listening to sports updates daily to catch up with the times,” kickboxer Titus Tugume, a relative and caretaker told Daily Monitor yesterday.
Tugume, a former national kickboxing champion, reminisced how Tushabe sponsored his rise to stardom in 2008 until when his financial powers waned. “I would have conquered titles had he continued to finance me. He served sports and was hurt when it was mismanaged,” Tugume added.
He recalls the general’s last moments; “His sickness started in 2010 when he went to India for four months’ medication. He has been in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for the whole of last week and couldn’t eat because his intestines were operated on. He will be buried at Kafunzo on Ibanda Road in Mbarara.”
Former Victors forward Yudah Mugalu reveals Tushabe was more than a dad to him. “He got me from bad company and told me I was special. We sat down together and formed Victors after he polished our first suggestions of Victoria FC because he wanted us to be winners,” Mugalu recalls.
Like Mugalu, Tushabe housed all the players at his Ggaba residence and many continued to stay in his abode many years after they left the club.
Victors joined the Uganda Premier League at the start of the 2005 season until the 2012/13 season when they were relegated before it finally folded. Tushabe’s side won the Uganda Cup twice in 2008 and in 2010. They competed in the Caf Confederation Cup twice.
“He was one of the soldiers that supported football (like the late Fred Rwigyema and Rwandan President Paul Kagame). Even when he supported Express, he formed his own club and was so resourceful in football management,” Haruna Kyobe, a former employee at Fufa, recalls. According to Kyobe, despite Tushabe’s status, he was a down to earth and welcoming person.
Fufa Communications Director Ahmed Hussein said the association was saddened by the demise of a great pillar in Ugandan football who had managed to formed a club.
“He had a dream of taking the club to another level. He was chairman security in Cecafa 2012. We shall miss that vast experience he brought on board.
“As Fufa we have assigned deputy CEO in charge of football Decolas Kizza to liase with the army and family to see what role we can play in his final send off,” Hussein said.