Misagga’s bittersweet return to SC Villa

Misagga honours President Yoweri Museveni at Hotel Africana during the celebrations to mark 40 years of Uganda’s most successful club on July 31, 2015. PHOTO | JOHN BATANUDDE

What you need to know:

  • Misagga left Villa heartbroken. The indication of his return can be more valuable to his status. It has proven that Villa can survive without him but he’s a vital cog to their transition and long-term success.

There is no doubt that his heart ever stopped beating for the Jogoos. Immanuel Ben Misagga, who returned to SC Villa in the capacity of Vice President in Charge of Fans Mobilisation, when Omar Mandela was endorsed as the new president last month, says he is a changed man.

Misagga was Villa president between 2014 and 2018. Fufa denied him an opportunity for the second term when they blocked the club elections. As he wandered in the wilderness, Villa did not get any better either.

Though he stayed in charge of Nyamityobora FC with his close ally Ali Ssekatawa, it is more appropriate to say that it was Villa where his true football journey had been and would be mapped properly.

Dream come true

His move did not come as a surprise after he registered as for the Villa Members Trust (VMT). It was then that he resigned as Nyamityobora president indicating that some members of the Catholic Church and Buganda Kingdom lured him back.

“I have for long been asked by a number of fans to save the club,” reveals Misagga.

“When the chance arose for a roundtable meeting with Hajji Mandela, Hon Gerald Ssendaula and Franco Mugabe, I did not have a second thought. This is what I had always advocated for. I thought the three of us plus Counsel Fred Muwema, William Nkemba and Hajji Salim Ssemmanda had the solution to Villa’s challenges. Working with Owek. Mandela and Mugabe has always been my passion. Now that it has happened, fans of all clubs are going to enjoy football.”

Forming what he called a strong team of able men, Misagga says they can steady Villa’s boat.

Mandela is serving with Daniel Bakaki as the senior vice president, Misagga, former club chairman Salim Ssemmanda and the current CEO Muhamad Bazirengedde.

The vice presidency is not the flashiest of the roles for Misagga as he is third in command.

In his role, which he describes as equivalent to the Prime Minister, Misagga says he is responsible for mobilising fans who are the lifeblood of a community club. Before he ascended to the role of president, he was the national fans coordinator reporting to the executive.

He says the presidency is not a dream he harbours at the moment. “I am giving Hajji Mandela time to do his work. We have just started work and I cannot think about issues of becoming president. We have a lot of work to do at the moment,” he said.

Misagga, Magogo, Mandela paradox

Misagga has publicly had issues with Mandela, who even skipped the Villa at 40 celebrations that Misagga organised. His relationship with Fufa president Moses Magogo is not the best either.

He says their differences are not personal.

“It was a clash of ideologies on how the club should be run. But since we decided to work together, we are looking at stabilising the club,” Misagga says. In the case of Magogo, Misagga says he is just like any other fan.

“He is not above us when it comes to Villa issues. He has a right to attend the congress. All administration work is for the team under Mandela. I insist that what Villa needs is a strong leader. It is not about bringing in every Tom, Dick and Harry because they are VMTs,” adds Misagga.

Villa boys

SC Villa is currently built around U-20 players. Importantly, most of the players and the coach are under the management of Sepuya Inc Agency, a brainchild of former international Eugene Sseppuya.

“Villa is supposed to get the best players around. I think Hajji Mandela has the same thinking because he used to buy tested players during his time. Villa fans are so demanding. They always ask for results, not the next star from the academy. But it is a process to get the best players for the club. It will not happen overnight,” Misagga reasons.

Mending broken hearts

Misagga left Villa heartbroken. The indication of his return can be more valuable to his status. It has proven that Villa can survive without him but he’s a vital cog to their transition and long-term success.

He wants to leave behind a legacy of a self-sustaining club with a corporate outlook, register more fans to add to the 1,500 VMTs, work towards obtaining a permanent home for the club and help in building a strong team.

“I don’t want to put many expectations on myself but we have got to build a strong team. I am looking forward to putting everything I can behind the team,” he says.

Misagga explains that his absence has shown him the real character of people.

“There are people that used to call me daily but when I left, they never called me again. Actually, most of them just called me to congratulate me when I became Vice President. I now know who I can trust and work with,” he says.

Misagga is intent on making his second coming at Villa work to visible fruition.

At a glance

Born: December 25, 1968

Village: Kifuta-Kibanda Kyotera District

Occupation: Building and Civil Engineer

Currently: Vice President in Charge of Fans Mobilisation

Formerly;

- President Nyamityobora FC

- Formerly:  President of Sports Club Villa

Work Career

Worked with Road Development Company Namibia (RCC) as North

Western Province Projects Manager Country Director, Plinth Technical Zambia Ltd

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