As the country’s general election season fades on the horizon and court petitions define the news, sports federations are getting into theirs.
Last week, the Uganda Volleyball Federation (UVF) held its quadrennial polls which saw the return of Sadik Nasiwu as president.
Nasiwu previously served as president between 2009 and 2007. His bounce back was better than his first two terms.
He got 226 votes leaving the other contestants Eddie Okila (27) and outgoing president Hadija Namanda (20) fighting for second. It was some kind of wave.
In the immediate aftermath and armed with history of resentment and small fights that have often ruined sport, Nasiwu called for reconciliation and unity.
Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) president Moses Muhangi proposed that someone like Namanda should never be hang in the sun to dry.
Muhangi proposed that leaders should still be kept in advisory and administrative roles to support their contemporaries after all sports still lacks the human resource in many areas. It’s valid but such a suggestion could be wishful thinking.
Such a proposal would require constitutional amendments across the 51 federations recognised by the National Council of Sports (NCS).
In the short term, it breeds a habit of having leaders that delegates have voted out resoundingly. How would the 226 who voted Naiswu react to seeing Namanda around the game they may feel she failed?
Like volleyball, cricket and kickboxing will also hold elections over the next eight weeks. Both come at a time when sport is largely ‘dead’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The incumbents may not have much to sell to the voters who are starved of action so it’s easy for a newcomer to sell imagination.
In the case of kickboxing, the federation has been as sixes and sevens. Two factions have claimed for the past few years to have the best interests of the sport while mudslinging the other.
NCS opted to sit the two factions down and resolved to have an election. The hope is that it will solve the differences and allow the stronger party take the game forward.
However, that isn’t a certainty that the winners and losers from the poll will accept the result. This is where controversy and endless fights then ensue.
The separation never benefits either party and sports ends up in court and in kinds of unpleasant places. Hopefully, someone is taking notes.