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Golf: Rukundo preaches unity after becoming new Captain of UGC

Paul Charles Rukundo

Paul Charles Rukundo

In the months and days leading up to last Saturday’s Elective Annual General Assembly at Uganda Golf Club, the captaincy race to replace the outgoing Emmanuel Wamala between Paul Nuwagaba and Paul Charles Rukundo had been billed as a neck-and-neck contest.

Both had served in the outgoing management committee; Nuwagaba as the vice-captain and Rukundo as the competitions and public relations secretary. It was a vote that, in the eagle-eyed view of many, was going to be decided by the breadth of millimetres.

On the D-Day, however, the voters dispelled any such notion of a tight contest by siding with Rukundo in a landslide. He prevailed in the ballot with a 177-66 victory to make a historic leap from competitions and public relations secretary to captaincy.

It was apparent that Rukundo had done his groundwork better, combing for votes through the rank and file of the club diligently and meticulously. His rival Nuwagaba, despite being vice-captain, hadn’t penetrated the deepest strata of the membership. It was by some distance the biggest turnup for an AGM with the car park extending to the fairway of hole 12.

All members sat through the routine but at times dreary procedural matters, palpably waiting to cast their ballot for the captaincy before driving away.

Rukundo playing golf
Rukundo playing golf

The positions for vice-captain, honorary secretary and treasurer had been filled unopposed with Jerry Owachi, Emmanuel Wamimbi and Walter Tukahirwa elected as new office bearers. In his acceptance speech as new captain, Rukundo called Nuwagaba to the podium, exchanged a deep hug with him before praising his service, leadership and enthusiasm towards improving Uganda Golf Club.

“I will work with Paul because he has some very enterprising ideas on how we can make the club a better place to be for all of us on and off the course,” he remarked.

Rukundo has promised to improve the age-old drainage conundrum that affects Uganda Golf Club, improve tee boxes and hire first-class equipment and a golf simulator for enhanced practice.

He will also concentrate on enhancing the frequency of competitions while emphasizing ‘efficient tournament prize-giving ceremonies.

’Rukundo’s manifesto highlighted vibrant junior golf programmes that will include regular children’s clinics and tournaments to build the next generation of golf champions at UGC, the country’s premier golf club. Saturday’s AGM concluded a race that had threatened to tear the club apart. As with most electoral processes, there was some bad blood that was spilled in the build-up to the day, with accusations and counter-accusations, and Rukundo’s immediate challenge will be to ensure that life continues on a clean slate.

The day was meant to have elected two members to the Board of Trustees but the process was deferred in accordance with the constitutional provisions. Dr Sam Zaramba and Sam Okello Ocero are due to step down with past captain Jackson Karyarugookwe, Patrick Magala and Nazim Thurani vying for the two slots up for grabs.

The other three members who will remain on the Board of Trustees are Hon. Jim Muhwezi, Charles Kareeba and Esther Okullo.

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