Back in 2014 when I lent Shs 300m to SC Villa through my company, Lusaka Commodities, the club was out of sorts, heavily indebted and wasn’t even sure of playing their next game. As a Villa diehard, it was only logical to bail the then administration out of a difficult situation.
The leadership and signatories that I gave the loan are still available up to this day and none has ever denied that. Even when I later took over the club, I turned the loan into equity because the club had no capacity to pay it back.
What I did was adopt Lusaka Commodities as a shareholder in Villa to protect its equity in the club. So, for all those four years I led the club, I had the belief that a time would come when Villa would be in a position to pay me back.
By 2018, I had greatly transformed the club as a contender, but by that point, my position as Villa president was the envy of many people. I did the noble thing to throw in the towel, but since then, I have noted a deliberate effort to undermine my contributions to the club and matters have not been helped by the club’s refusal to clear my loan.
Recently, Villa paid off several creditors after acquiring Shs 3.5bn of the Shs 7bn from the Uganda National Roads Authority as compensation for taking Villa Park. When it came to my issue, the club created a sticking point: “there was no minute or resolution that authorized the loan.”
I wonder, why ask me for the minute and resolution at this stage? For four years, I covered all the debts and footed all expenses for Villa, but this is how they paid me back?
If I can flip the table, how did the current trustees of the club attain those positions in the absence of a minute or resolution?
I see this as sabotage. I have sacrificed a lot to see Villa where it is today, yet I am being treated like an outsider. I’ve always said that if indeed trustees are the club historicals, then there would be a member from the families of club legends Patrick Kawooya and Edward Lyumbazi Mugalu.
I have never seen such passionate and dedicated club administrators as those two, yet their contributions and legacies have now been airbrushed. You cannot also deny the contribution of Fred Muwema, who singlehandedly ran the club for three years.
As a businessman, I had better things to use for that Shs 300m. Even if I had kept it on a fixed deposit account that pays just five per cent per year, I would have earned at least half of the money I lent the club and my debt would be Shs 450m.
But all I demand is what I sunk into the club. All in all, the treatment I have endured from the current leadership will only serve to put off future investors in the club. The earlier the club senses this, the better. The current leadership should stop acting more holy than the Pope or St Benedict.
The author is SC Villa president emeritus