Moses Mwase beat longterm colleague Peter Mugisha by 14 votes to extend his term as Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) president on Saturday.
Mwase, who replaced Donald Rukare last year when the latter moved to National Council of Sports (NCS), garnered 28 votes at the elective assembly in Lugogo and immediately extended an olive branch to the man with whom he has served the federation since 2004.
“I have promised to reach out to him, share ideas and see how we can serve our federation together,” Mwase, who also serves as Uganda Olympic Committee vice president (technical), said in his acceptance speech.
Just before that, returning officer and Uganda Law Society president Pheona Wall had invited Mugisha to address the assembly. The former vice president (2013-2021) and general secretary (2000-2012) promised he will “as an administrator, coach, official and masters’ athlete continue to be around swimming.”
NCS assistant general secretary David Ssemakula Katende had advised Mwase and Mugisha to remain true to USF regardless of the outcome of the vote.
“Do not let elections be the reason you split up the federation. USF is one of our model federations and we hope that it will stay that way,” Katende said.
Mwase ran a campaign where his key focus is to change the narrative around the sport that is seen as largely a elite.
“We want to re-write our strategic plan and the key issue we want to focus on is to demistify the sport and encourage swimming for all,” he said.
“We want to make our finances stable, write a coaching curriculum and a Longterm Athletes Development (LTAD) plan. But we also want a national aquatic centre and also encourage the development of aquatic facilities across the country.”
Mwase will be happy to learn that he was endorsed by senior coaches, who are keen to improve the quality of the game in the country.
“Both competitors have been general secretaries before and we saw more growth during Moses’s period,” Uganda Coaches Association president Allan Kiiza told Daily Monitor.
“We want continuity in that aspect. But also, Moses is part of Fina’s administration and we want someone who is in a position to lobby for our interests such as coaching courses,” Kiiza, who voted on behalf of Stingrays Swim Club, added.
The new executive also has two-time Olympic swimmer Jamila Lunkuse, who is “excited” to share her experience and ensure the voices of athletes are heard in the federation.
“The biggest challenge is that many swimmers are leaving the sport when we need them most. I think that if we get their voices heard and feelings understood, we can retain many of them,” Lunkuse said.
Moses B. Mwase
Vice president (admin)
Vice presd (tech)
Albert S. Wasswa
Assistant Gen Sec
Dr Nana Nakiddu