Lengthy ban ends Uhuru’s season

Uhuru fell in deep waters with dangerous play. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

The same player was also cited in an incident involving another Kobs player, Pius Ogena, although it was the Kasito incident that drew a tirade. 

For the past fortnight, a fair share of the local rugby community was questioning how Heathens forward and vice-captain Charles Uhuru was never punished for dangerous play on Kobs back Adrian Kasito during a Nile Special Premiership tie on January 28 at Legends Rugby Club.

The same player was also cited in an incident involving another Kobs player, Pius Ogena, although it was the Kasito incident that drew a tirade.

Uhuru lifted the reigning Uganda Rugby Union men’s rugby player of the year off the ground before he helplessly landed head first in a very disturbing manner, he was never the same player for the rest of the game.

Centre referee Rosenberg Kanyunyuzi did not see the incident but the citation officer did and placed it for a hearing, culminating into a 15 weeks ban for Uhuru.

“The Disciplinary Committee referred to World Rugby regulation 17, appendix 1 of guidance and has ruled to suspend Mr. Uhuru for fifteen (15) weeks from taking part in any union sanctioned activity starting immediately,” read part of the Uru official communication.

Four match days have so far been played with 14 to go, leaving Uhuru out of the rest of the league campaign. While some think Uhuru’s punishment is harsh, the law is clear as Uhuru’s actions ticked all the boxes to get banned.

There was contact on the head, the degree of danger was high and there were no clear or obvious mitigating factors.

“A player must not lift an opponent off the ground and drop or drive that player so that their head/ upper body make contact with the ground,” states the World Rugby law book in article 9.18.

The culprit could serve between six and 52 weeks bans depending on the severity. Uhuru’s case was classified as top end which calls for a ban of at least more than 14 weeks.

There is popular belief that punishments of this magnitude can shape discipline in the league.

Players have been getting away with all sorts of farcical play but with more cameras and eyes on ground, those days could be long gone.

Pirates’ half back Stephen Alul has also been suspended for two weeks for lashing out at Hippos’ Aziz Bagalana as the pair prepared for a scrum. Both Pirates and Heathens have up to 72 hours to appeal.

Heathens’ loss

Defending champions Heathens will now have to defend their titile without Uhuru, a cog in their pack. He is a leader and key part of the Heathens set up.

His exploits at the line out will be dearly missed as he is to follow proceedings from the stands.

The likes of Simon Olet, Shawn Baseka and Joachim Chisano will have to step up in the second row department.


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