What you need to know:
- Polices wins. After just one term at the helm of professional boxing body, Salim Uhuru says he cannot juggle boxing administration with politics despite a past vow to favour the sport.
Salim Uhuru’s four-year term as Uganda Professional Boxing Commission (UPBC) president expired in March but the Kampala businessman and politician will not seek a second term in the elections due July.
“The elective general assembly is coming in two months but I won’t be coming back as UPBC president; I think I have a lot on my plate,” Uhuru told Daily Monitor by phone.
Uhuru and his entire executive were unopposed in the March 17, 2018 general assembly inside Genesis Hall in Mt Zion Hotel in Kampala.
According to the UPBC constitution, 2008 (amended), the AGM must take place promptly when it is due or not later than six months from the due date.
The constitution also allows the president to serve only two consecutive terms. But Uhuru, whose biggest achievement was hosting the Africa Boxing Union Convention in September 2018, before Covid-19 killed two years of his term, seems too busy for a second term.
The proprietor of Uhuru Restaurants is also the Kampala Central Division mayor and the Kampala central chair for the ruling NRM party.
“All those offices, for what? Let somebody else take over boxing,” he said.
Yet in his victory speech in 2018, he vowed to quit politics and concentrate on sports. “Sports has been a bigger part of my life than politics,” Uhuru said then.
“But I can’t abandon boxing because I love the sport; I will be in the background and I will help where necessary.”
Before seeking the top job, the former boxer and rally driver served as the administrative vice president in Kiyingi Bbosa’s UPBC executive between 2012 and 2018.
However, Uhuru’s departure comes at a time when UPBC faces a legal existential battle, with Moses Muhangi, the amateur boxing president, claiming the professional body has no mandate to run boxing business in Uganda.
Many face of Uhuru
Salim Uhuru, the proprietor of Uhuru Restaurants, is also the Kampala Central Division mayor and the ruling NRM party chairman for Kampala central division. While he in 2018 vowed to focus on boxing, it now appears that politics has won over the man famously known as ‘pilau maestro.’