Next year URU goes to the polls. Many people online are full of complaints. I have been very involved in the polls before, at the last election I was a campaign manager for one camp that challenged the status quo. So let me give you why it is next to impossible to change the system as it stands. This is a post-mortem of the 2019 election.
For the Presidency Godwin Kayangwe a.k.a Tonchu managed 44 votes his rival Ivan Semuwemba garnered 09 votes.
To vote you must be a member of URU, you must be registered and paid up the annual charge of 100,000. This alone disqualified many potential voters who we realized some had arrears of 6 years. Of those who weren’t able to vote with presence because of arrears are Mbale Elephants and Gulu Elephants. Others who haven’t updated membership are MUBS, Nkumba, UCU, Lira Bulls,
Others were active in rugby but weren’t registered as members yet were Buddu, Nkozi, Mustangs, Titans, KIU Bushenyi, Kabale, Kasese, Soroti, Arua Leopards, Northern Force, Aduku Marines, Busitema University, Kitgum Lions, Elgon Wolves, Nakaloke Bulls, Kisubi Pacers, Entebbe whales. Since then new clubs have emerged Entebbe Jaguars, Eagles RFC, Njeru RFC, Gulu city falcons, the sprinters, lira matrix, Tooro Lions.
The clubs named above if they qualify to the voting are 2 vote clubs. Any registered club has 2 votes, if they have a second side they get 2 more votes, if they have a women’s side they get 2 more votes, if they have a pitch committed for rugby they get 1 vote. This is also subject to some metrics behind closed doors like history.
Now to the voting.
The Executive committee has a block vote usually, it is like a gentrified handover. Many deals are usually cut in so the outgoing will have to ensure rapport with the incoming to avoid your deals being thrown out. For example catering to the national team is ring-fenced to someone since no open bidding was made. That is how sponsorship usually turns up opaque. It makes no sense for the committee to vote themselves back in yet the entire election is meant to question the merit they have, moreover they are nominated by clubs.
Let us look at the current committee and how they made it to the fore.
Godwin Kayangwe a.k.a TONCHU was the secretary to the Union, a Willy politician but a corrupt technocrat, once threatened to have me arrested on charges of tribalism, persistently hangover. He won the election comfortably. Formerly Team Manager of Pirates RFC.
Oscar Olara VP Technical, he went up against a field of unknowns, formerly with Entebbe Mongers and Gulu Elephants. His work is obvious with Uganda winning the Africa 7’s in a dominant display.
Peter Magona. VP Commercial, a member of Kyadondo RFC, was unopposed and powered through with no vote cast. He works with TBWA who are the agency handling Nile Breweries branding, rumors of conflict of interest never walk out of his name.
Peter Odong. Secretary, then unknown, he powered through the Kyadondo vote. He is the HR of NWSC. He has no interest in rugby save for the prestige it brings to him in individual capacity.
Regina Lunyolo Women’s representative. A token post for then team Manager of the women’s team. She sailed through calm waters. Nominated by Entebbe rugby club where she was a founding member of the Entebbe sharks, now the founding patron of Entebbe Jaguars rugby club. One of the few members of committee who run a club. Uganda women got the groove back and a point away from the World cup second-time appearance.
Simon Mutama, treasurer. One of the longer serving committee members, he is silent as a grave had to fight off a strong challenge and only came back in on the back of the old boys. Very low profile and almost unidentifiable.
Dorothy Nekesa, age-grade representative. Came in through a tough fight, she is also a member of Kyadondo rugby club. Uganda managed to get back to playing U20rugby again and join the top tier.
Vian Matsiko, upcountry representative. Unknown and will stay unknown. Rugby has travelled beyond her comfort zone of Kampala so maybe he has done his work. The rugby 7s reached the depths of Soroti and the heights of Kabale maybe his is a term accomplished.
Zakia Maseruka, a known Kobs fan was appointed to the board on presidential directive, her brief is opaque but she will be in France as a media attaché or whatever way they choose to abuse office. She also earns a vote by this appointment.
Now to how the clubs voted;
EXCOM: 09 VOTES All to Tonchu the incumbent. No split opinion here. Same expected next election.
Kyadondo rugby club; 13 VOTES. No team named Kyadondo has ever taken to the field to play rugby but they earn the vote through affiliates Heathens, Buffaloes, Stallions, Tigers, Eagles, Thunderbirds and vote for facility.
All votes went to Tonchu, the challenger was informed that he had come late when the decision had already been made and no audience would be granted. It is also important to note that Mutaks as then chairman of Kyadi is a close associate of Tonchu having related at UGRUGBY FANZONE an entity owned by the latter.
Pirates rugby club; 07 votes. Earn the votes through Pirates, Sailors, Black Pearls and a facility. All went to Tonchu as he was one time TM. They nominated the man. It is also the most elitist club in Uganda and the possibility of voting someone who never attended Budo, Kisubi, Namilyango as head of rugby rattles them greatly.
KOBS rugby club: 04 votes: earn the votes through Kobs and Boks. All the four went to Tonchu. Important to note that an excom member then of Kobs could be a part-owner of a certain establishment that is also owned by one of the top dogs of rugby. It was an easy decision here.
Impis rugby club: 05 votes. Earn them through Impis, Impis2 and facility. Voted for Semuwemba Ivan, it is also critical to note towards voting they were allowed 2 votes because they hadn’t paid for the facility and Impis 2 wasn’t deemed active.
Rams: 02 votes. Okay these went to TONCHU because he once paid Ambulance fee and gave a cash donation to the club. An acceptable bargain in this economy. They will vote the same since Richard Lumu the head coach was also allowed to lead the U-20’s. That is a vote in the bag.
Rhinos rugby: 03 votes. 1 for being the hosts at Legends rugby club. The most inaccessible excom in the country. Of course they voted Tonchu because he is their guy.
Warriors rugby club: 02 votes. In the words of Gabriel Aredo, we will vote those we drink with. It didn’t make sense since I had played for that club, recruited, funded and even brought in associates to sponsor on 2 occasions. He went on to celebrate the victory and has sunk what was once a good ship. I am always gleefully celebrating the misfortune that befalls them.
Jinja Hippos: 03 votes. The chairman Manzi is a stooge of Kyadondo and would do anything Kyadondo ask him to do. No bets on where he put his vote.
Entebbe rugby club: 04 votes. Earned by the mongers and the sharks. The chairman then Olweny Andrew played a safe card to have Olara Oscar on the committee. All votes went to Tonchu.
Walukuba rugby club: 02 votes. Voted Semuwemba Ivan, the chairman Kirya Duncan has since been appointed the President Eastern Uganda rugby Union, maybe he will swing sides.
Kitgum Lady Queens: 02 votes. Interestingly the men’s section couldn’t raise money for a vote. This was a proxy side in the vote and interestingly as I campaigned I found them calling me mad and a disruptor of good work. The one whose mouth spoke those words has since delved deeper into my madness and goes around singing the same tunes I used to parrot.
Kyambogo rugby: 02 votes. As the people who nominated Semuwemba Ivan the vote was cast the same way.