Sserunjogi back in Fuba top seat
What you need to know:
While Sserunjogi chose his best-fitting black suit and white shirt completed with a maroon tie, his challenger opted to go casual on a day he was potentially supposed to be ushered in as Fuba President. Gumisiriza was clad in his blue jeans, a white Rez Life t-shirt and sneakers. Going by the first impression, Sserunjogi was in the lead even before the first ballot was cast at Hotel Africana.
The difference in class between Nasser Sserunjogi and Gordon Gumisiriza on Saturday started with the choice of dress code.
While Sserunjogi chose his best-fitting black suit and white shirt completed with a maroon tie, his challenger opted to go casual on a day he was potentially supposed to be ushered in as Fuba President.
Gumisiriza was clad in his blue jeans, a white Rez Life t-shirt and sneakers.
Going by the first impression, Sserunjogi was in the lead even before the first ballot was cast at Hotel Africana.
And by the time the last ballot was counted, the difference between the two was a massive 23 votes in favour of the incumbent, confirmation of another four-year term in office.
“We have done a lot for this game in the short period we’ve been in office and the members were alive to that,” Sserunjogi told Daily Monitor after his victory.
With five of the seven executive posts filled by unopposed candidates, delegates turned up to decide on only two slots.
While Sserunjogi took the presidency, Racheal Atuhairwe Ainamasiko defeated Mariam Birungi to take the Women’s Commissioner seat.
The trio of Hudson Ssegamwenge, Aggrey Mbonye and Arnold Katabi returned as Vice President -Administration, Vice President -Finance and Vice President -Marketing, respectively.
Patricia Ayebare and Mande Baker Kyambadde complete the seven-member executive as Youths Commissioner and Vice President -Technical and Competitions, respectively.
Sserunjogi's previous manifesto rotated around grassroots basketball, capacity building and finding a new home for the sport.
There was no manifesto this time round, with the focus still on items he believes should have progressed better if it was not for the Covid-19 pandemic.
“All the things we promised in 2019, we have touched only that some have not been to the extent that we expected,” Sserunjogi said.
On the technical aspect, Fuba has increased the number of referees. The number of international referees has grown from three to five, and the federation has got a Fiba Referees’ Instructor.
In the last four years, Fuba has also managed to reach 56 certified Fiba Level One coaches.
Getting on board a broadcast sponsor for the league last season and increasing activity at Primary School Level are some of the other achievements Sserunjogi takes pride in.
Having confirmed to the assembly on Saturday that there is progress in regards to acquiring land and setting up a facility for the federation, all focus will be on that promise in the next four years.
The biggest proposal left to the AGM was the idea of teams handling their league game operations to realise revenue from gate collections.
Sserunjogi, who doubles as the president of KIU Titans, believes it is high time top flight clubs got into the thick of things and managed the league like is the case with lower divisions.
“Over the years, Fuba has been in charge of gate collections, but we want to give it back to the teams.
“We were doing it because we were financially challenged, but this season I'm hopeful we will have a couple of partners.
We want to give clubs the mandate to deal with the gates, collect money and also deal with the Game Day expenses.
“You don't expect Fuba to meet the expenses, and then you take the gate collection.”
The AGM ended with concerns raised by members from various clubs.
Patrick Sebuliba, a delegate from Victoria University, tasked the federation to explain the Silverbacks’ recent trip to Angola for the Fiba Basketball World Cup Qualifiers, which he believes brought shame to the country.
The Silverbacks travelled to Luanda last month for the last window of qualifiers but with no single training session and mixed jerseys that saw the team assemble just six players against Cote d’Ivoire.
Only nine players had made the trip after Fuba failed to get funding from the National Council of Sports.
Tropical Royals’ delegate Brian Rugyendo also questioned the selection of coaches for the different national teams.
He pointed out City Oilers’ assistant coach Andrew Tendo, who is part of the national team set-up without having any prior experience as a head coach.
Sserunjogi has also consistently said the government must fund the national teams. When tasked to explain why the federation has failed to get partners for the Silverbacks to avoid the ever-present financial difficulties, he re-echoed the same sentiments.
“The national teams are a responsibility of the government. I don't care what happens elsewhere, we must continue engaging with NCS to ensure these teams get funding, but that doesn't mean we are just sitting. The CEO will tell you that we have been knocking on different doors.”
It was also confirmed in the AGM that both A1 Challenge and Nkumba Lay Marines, relegated after last season, will be back in the top flight to increase the numbers of women’s sides in the division to 12.
JT Lady Jaguars and Kampala University are the teams that were promoted to the top flight.
With the elections out of the way, the focus will now turn to the tip-off of the different leagues.