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How Kisekka rose from KCC FC ranks to reach football summit

Godfrey Kisekka

Godfrey Kisekka

It is quite ironic that every time I meet Godfrey Kisekka in a public event, I end up explaining to people that he was one of the top prospects in his heyday.

Many often get shocked that Kisekka, who is renowned in football administration, actually played the game at the top level. It is from that background that I wish to throw more light about one of the longest careers in the game.

Kisekka may be a laidback figure to- day but at a young age in the eighties, he was an ambitious figure who pulled the strings in KCC FC’s golden era. At just 25 years, he was already sitting on the KCC executive.

FORMATIVE YEARS

Kisekka’s football career started as a centre-half and skipper of St Henry’s College, Kitovu. At the same time, he was also playing for Kampala-based Produce Marketing Board (PMB) FC in the second-tier.

When he moved to Makerere University in 1979, he was made captain of the university side, which had the likes of Paul Hasule and Francis Mbalya. He left PMB FC and moved to Wandegeya FC. In 1980, he was snapped up by Express, which had just returned from the infamous ban.

The presence of Express’ giant skipper Goliath Mukasa and Francis Oryem limited Kisekka’s playing time and in 1982, he switched to KCC FC. Having obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree, he also quickly got employed as an executive in KCC’s engineering department.

On the pitch, however, he had little playing time due to the presence of John Latigo, Peter Wandyete and Kent Lutaaya. Matters were not helped by a nagging knee injury that dropped him down the pecking order.

Still, he was part of the squad that won the 1982 Uganda Cup and the 1983 league title. Before the beginning of the 1984 season, KCC dropped him from the squad but retained his job at the club’s parent institution.

That didn’t stop him from having stints at Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB) FC to revamp his career but he quit the game the following year due to injuries. At that time, the multi-faceted Kisekka had already joined the editorial team at Soccer World, a weekly football magazine attached to KCC FC.

JOINING THE HIGH TABLE

In 1985, KCC players elected Kisekka to represent them on the club’s executive. He did well and by 1987, he had been voted as the club’s assistant secretary, deputising Joe Sebugwawo. On a number of occasions, Kisekka was the central figure in running the club secretariat.

In 1994, he was elevated to the post of team manager, and at the same time, he was representing the club to the executive of the Super Division Clubs Association (SDCA), where he also served as chairman at the time.

In 1996, KCC FC boss Abraham Byandala appointed Kisekka vice chairman-technical. At the time, Kisekka had grown in stature and become authoritative. He obviously looked like the next club boss due to the confidence his bosses at the club had in him.

He made changes on the technical bench, which saw the return of Tom Lwanga as head coach and also the selection of Sande Manara as team manager. Kisekka’s stature was enhanced when KCC won the 1997 league title, a first in six years, on top of reaching the semi-final of the Caf Cup, a first in club history.

FUFA TOP JOB

Kisekka defeated Chris Rwanika for the post of Fufa general secretary during the December 1998 polls, which also saw Denis Obua defeat Hajji Twaha Kakaire. Despite being a KCC diehard, he was respected by rival clubs.

He was reelected in 2001 but by that time, he had relinquished his roles at KCC FC. In February 2004, Education and Sports minister Namirembe Bitamazire dissolved the Fufa executive, which forced Kisekka to return to KCC FC.

His departure from Fufa was a blessing in disguise for his club, which benefited from his full-time availability, and it did not surprise many when he was appointed club chairman later that year.

His tenure at KCC saw the club lift the 2004 Uganda Cup and the 2007/2008 league title. He also used his office as Kampala Central division town clerk to shift KCC players’ payment system from City hall to Central division. This meant players used to get paid on time.

However, this decision did not go down well with some former players, who criticized him for what they called ‘having excessive powers.’

In 2010, Kampala mayor Nasser Sebaggala, under pressure from a section of club faithful, replaced Kisekka with Dr Bakka Musujja as club chairman.

From then on, Kisekka decided not to engage in conflict and decided to keep a low profile. When he quit his final job at the institution as taxi parks superintendent, he resorted to farming at his country home in Nkokonjeru, in Buikwe district.

bzziwa@observer.ug

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