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Leadership Wrangles Threaten Kickboxing in Uganda :: Uganda Radionetwork

Leadership Wrangles Threaten Kickboxing in Uganda

The National Council of Sports-NSC has since withdrawn the certificate of recognition from the Uganda Kickboxing Federation due to the absence of clear leadership for the past four years.
Moses Golola taking on Ronald Mugula. Courtesy Picture

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Leadership wrangles are threatening to blight the future of kickboxing in the country. The National Council of Sports-NSC has since withdrawn the certificate of recognition from the Uganda Kickboxing Federation due to the absence of clear leadership for the past four years.

Shadia Nakamanya, the head of legal compliance at NCS explains that the  Federation had spent four years without a recognized Leader, which contravenes the NSC Regulations of 2014. Section six of the regulations requires every national sports Association to have a general assembly, an executive committee, a chairperson or president and a General Secretary or secretary. 

However, Nakamanya says, none of this is in place in regards to the local Kickboxing governing body.

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How did wrangles start?

Latif Walugembe, one of the kickboxing coaches who has been following the leadership wrangles in the Federation closely, says that after the demise of the former Uganda Kickboxing President, Hassan Ssekilime in 2018, the executive board appointed Patrick Luyoza as interim president on condition that he organizes election for new leaders. 

Walugembe, who is the trainer of Umar Sematta, a world champion, says that confusion came when Luyoza's leadership refused to hand in office and organize free and fair elections.  As a result, some of the members petitioned the NCS to challenge Luyoza's leadership. 

Although the Federation failed to organize elections, Walugembe explains that clubs through their representatives sat and elected kickboxing promoter Malik Kaliisa to replace the late Hassan Ssekilime whose term was supposed to end in 2020.

“Because there was no specific time in the constitution about the status of the President’s successors Luyoza used that advantage. But club representatives finally stood and unanimously decided to vote Malik as the new President of Kickboxing. 

However, NCS didn’t approve the election because the then General Secretary who is supposed to preside over the election never participated," Walugembe told URN. Nakamanya explains that the NCS technical committee drew roadmaps for the election of the new kickboxing leadership but the top leaders were always defiant, which prompted them to withdraw the certificate of recognition.

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As it stands now, the national kickboxing body has 39 clubs registered by the national council of sports. These are supposed to be represented by one official who takes part in the college vote of the President.

What is at stake?

Following the withdrawal of the certificate of recognition, the sports body can not recognise any national kickboxing championship. Nakamanya explained once a certificate of recognition is withdrawn from a particular Federation, they can not allocate any funds for the development of the affected sport. 

She says that it is now up to the interested members to re-apply and register for the sport again following the rules and regulations of the NCS.

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Walugembe believes that being one of the growing sports in a country, the power struggles put the development of this sport in a dilemma. He says that as different parties warm up to re-apply to register the sport, there is a need to scrutinize the applicants to get the right people who will restore the glory of Kickboxing in the country.  

‘We need the right people, who can push the sport to the glory, we need a leader who can set up structures because as the country we have the talent, and if we expose them, we can win very many international medals,” Walugembe said. Luyoza hasn't yet commented as he said he would only speak on the issue on the following day. 

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