TAINT OR ACCOUNTABILITY ISSUES AGAIN
By Arans Tabaruka
In August 2013, Eng. Moses Hassim Magogo, a former employee of the African Development Bank succeeded Lawrence Mulindwa as president of the Federation of Uganda Football Association. In his second term of office at the helm of the footballing governing body, Eng. Magogo seems to be holding loose as his 4-year term nears the end.
The sports fraternity in Uganda is awash with a dissection of his accountability issues regarding the uncertainty of ex-international player allowances.
But could this be a name taint again or improper handling of his accounts as the chief accounting officer of the country’s football body (FUFA) coming at this time? That will be the Dossier’s job to find out.
The adage of all that glitters is not gold applies well here, football administration in Uganda is not a stranger to mishandling, misuse and accountability challenges. It seems all is fair play.
The Dossier confirms that a meeting happened and an agreement was coined to fetter a deal to help national players who retire thrive after the game 3 years ago.
Unremittingly bitter experiences of retired footballers are a quintessentially Ugandan problem.
From the Dossier, following several interviews and pieces of evidence we are gathering, this could be another setback to the national game and the current administration. Surprisingly, a young Turk of the Ex-internationals Sula Mutyaba is out on the attack unlike previously when the likes of George Ssemwogerere has made headlines.
So we will start the digging, from the FUFA dugout,
The national footballing body is running a 36 Billion budget to cater for sports 71% business 23% governance 6% and by the way, the Ugandan government provided a paltry 11.9 billion shillings this financial year.
With FIFA making unprecedented financial support to national federations in response to COVID-19 impact.
For sports, its players retiring, FUFA agreed to a plan to remunerate its official national players. This was after a protracted struggle by the Ex-International players, year in year out. This is entirely very good and our interest is driven to a good match in the 2020/2021 budget estimates. No vote provided but heck, so how does FUFA do it?
We are trying to get hold of FUFA Finance Director Julian Namuganga to give us a hint on how this and how her supervisor does it especially now that there are what we presuppose is construed remarks from Sulaiman Mutyaba. Anybody who knows how we can get hold of FUFA’s comptroller and her accounts per 2020/2021 FY will be a great deal.
We will however delve into the basic figures available for you on a FUFA website. (https://www.fufa.co.ug/96th-fufa-ordinary-assembly-endorses-2020-21-financial-year-budget/)
This will trickle down to the 10 key focus areas of FUFA that include
Administration – 4, 861,160,000, Communications – 1,362,266,250, Competitions – 2,874,925,000, Football Development – 4,118,500,000, Governance – 1,355,280,000, Infrastructure – 2,910,130,000, Marketing – 2,049,000,000, Membership – 1,650,000,000, National Teams – 13,496,117,461, Office of the FUFA President – 633,200,000
So could there be a different budget FUFA operates that has this whole wailing statement from an Ex- International Sulaiman Mutyaba with claims of the ongoing mishandling at FUFA?
“Today I am here to talk about the monthly salaries paid by the government to Uganda Cranes players,” Mutyaba posted on his Facebook account
Before making several claims revealing how 50m is released every month by the government through the national council of sports and signed by FUFA CEO Edgar Watson to be paid to players but to his disappointment, it never gets to the rightful beneficiaries.
“It’s now coming to 3 years and none of them has ever received a single coin. That brings us to the conclusion that the money is being mismanaged by the leadership of Eng. Moses Magogo,” Mutyaba is quoted.
“Besides the shillings 10billion FUFA receives for Uganda Cranes, I believe they would have considered player’s welfare as a key area if we wanted to promote the beautiful game. Let’s also reflect on the allocation of COVID19 funds from FIFA, so the entire point is Eng. Moses Magogo is the greatest among FUFA Presidents but has failed to account for the money,”
We must have heard all these statements and all we can do now is make an assumption that the body has budgeted for them under the National team’s vote. This was in fact confirmed by the CEO Edgar Watson on phone. Owing to gentlemen agreements between the football governing body and the Ex-Internationals.
So if flattery was a sportsman, FUFA has a new crisis every year.
In 2011, David Obua also pointed to the same point of lack of freedom of speech in the Cranes camp after the team had failed to qualify for AFCON 2012.
In 2019, media frenzy especially twitter went trendy as headlines hit the FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo for failure to pay player allowances.
“If you know the whereabouts of FUFA President, Moses Magogo, count yourself lucky! Things fast changed from the jovial mood when the Cranes made it to the last 16 of the AFCON Finals to #PayUgandaCranesAllowances- quoted a local paper then.
This was after the players failed to turn up for a training session citing the failure by the Ugandan Football Federation to remit their allowances for the new phase of the tourney as agreed. The players were threatening to sit out the knockout game with Senegal if FUFA remained hesitant to release their allowances. They definitely settled it out.
The question should not be how? But now, why accountability continues to jeopardize football administration in Uganda.
Towards the Easter season, Uganda’s national football team, the Cranes, failed to clinch a place for the AFCON 2021 after a narrow loss to Malawi 1-0 in the final qualifier match played in Blantyre. The bonus saga of the under 20 national team also came up, I hope it’s resolved.
The AFCON 2021 is scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon, from 9 January to 6 February 2022. The tournament was originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021, but CAF announced that due to unfavourable climatic conditions during this period, the tournament would take place from 9 January to 6 February 2021.
On 30 June 2020, CAF moved the tournament for the third time to January 2022 citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Could this be the anger from Ugandans, Players like Sulaiman Mutyaba who disclosed the dissatisfaction by national players over the missing allowances?
Well, the loss and the failed pursuit was explained by FUFA saying the focus would turn to the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that start in June. They simply moved on. Isn’t this an accountability question too?
Following his ascension to the FUFA leadership, Eng. Moses Magogo has been a trite leader tested with opposition against his style of leadership but lucky enough to achieve quite a number of milestones Ugandan football yearned for decades. This is for another day.
Should Sulaiman Mutyaba and his accomplices’ allegation hold fort, Eng. Moses Magogo, the FUFA President will find himself on defence for the misdemeanor or a first-degree felony of abuse and misuse of office during his tenure. What is of very much interest later is this supposed hijack of the freedoms and right of expression and speech that the players continue to highlight.
firstname.lastname@example.org Editor and African correspondent.