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Magogo can run but cannot hide

Fufa president Moses Magogo

Fufa president Moses Magogo

History is littered with emperors who thought it was their God-given right to rule, only to fall when they thought they were at their mightiest.

This history keeps repeating itself in various forms to this day and this is not any different with the current situation in Ugandan football administration. So, as Moses Magogo plots to extend his eight-year reign at Fufa for another four years, he
feels he is at his strongest position.

He conducts himself with a sense of entitlement and has shut all doors for dissenting views within the federation. Meanwhile, in a bid to cement his grip, he has also made several amendments in the Fufa constitution and election guidelines to ring-fence the presidency to himself as well as manipulating the election process to make it impossible for anyone to challenge him.

I wonder, if he is really popular and supported, why would he manipulatively close out the less popular to challenge him? For instance, he appointed an election committee which in turn amended the electoral code to have it mandatory that every eligible candidate has to first get an endorsement from a regional delegate and their CEO.

These regional CEOs are Fufa employees paid by Magogo; so, to expect any of them to nominate another candidate apart from Magogo is fool-hardy. Prior to this, he went on to personally supervise the regional election process to allow only his preferred candidates sail through unopposed as delegates.

Magogo cannot claim he has transformed football when he is locking out genuine competition. If President Museveni can allow a 24-year-old John Katumba to challenge him, how can Magogo – a person who claims to be a volunteer – resist competition?

To Magogo and his praise singers, Fufa is a goldmine for enrichment and the upcoming Fufa election is a foregone conclusion. But therein lies the weak spots. Firstly, Magogo is conflicted to stand in a Fufa election when he is already a member of parliament representing a political party.

And he knows well that Fifa and Caf rules are clear when personal interests, activities or relationships affect an individual’s ability to be impartial. Most importantly, Magogo is aware he is not fit to stand for any football position following his Fifa conviction and suspension for fraud.

INTEGRITY CHECK

To whitewash the fraud conviction, he amended the election guidelines to remove the requirement of an integrity test for candidates.

This vetting system, which has been standardised by all Fifa members, used to be a requirement until his conviction and in that regard, I and other proponents of change like Mujib Kasule and Ali Sekatawa, among others, are not just sitting by.

This integrity check has already had success in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Zambia and there is no reason to doubt it will not work in Uganda to weed the sport of leeches. The writing is on the wall for Magogo to leave football peacefully and the harder he tries to cling on, the faster will be his even bigger fall.

At the moment, I will not be shocked if MP Allan Sewanyana is given the green light to challenge Magogo because in reality, he has no chance and will only serve to legitimise the flawed process.

Magogo can never win Fufa presidency if he allows a serious contender to appear on the ballot paper because he knows that most delegates are disappointed with his brutish leadership.

What I have found most distressing in the whole electoral process is the pettiness and double-crossed nature of some delegates, especially in Buganda. It is hard to fathom that Kasule managed to get endorsement from all regions apart from Buganda, whose football leadership sold its soul to Magogo even when they are aware of the glaring corruption in the federation.

Historically, Magogo is the only Fufa president to be convicted and suspended from office for stealing tickets. Magogo may feel he is at his strongest but we are ready to exhaust all avenues to expose him and have him out of Fufa.

And with the impending cabinet announcement, I can only hope President Museveni provides the sports sector with a state minister that is not part of the problem.

The author is Nyamityobora FC president.

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