Its day two after FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa shockingly declared that he won’t be seeking a third term in office despite showing intentions earlier that he was ready to contest.
There is no debate on who would have been the winner with Mulindwa in the race given he won the previous two elections unopposed and the same was more likely even this time.
Anyway, his stepping down has thrown the race to replace him wide open with a number of people even unconsidered for the job recently showing interest.
By the closure of Wednesday, eleven people had publicly declared their intention to succeed Mulindwa but only FUFA Vice President in charge of administration Moses Magogo, Kiira Young Chairman Jimmy Lukwago, Standard High Zzana Headmaster Justus Mugisha, St. Juliana SS Head Teacher Jeff Sserunjogi, former FUFA treasurer Michael Okiror, former FUFA lawyer Muhammad Bazirengedde, Mukono delegate Joseph Mwanje and NBS TV, Top Radio and Makindye Division Councilor Allan Ssewanyana had picked forms on top of paying a non refundable Shs 2 million nomination fee.
Others are New Vision CEO Robert Kabushenga, senior sports journalist and former soccer player (Diary FC) and Basketballer (Makerere Heaters & Blue Jackets) Mark Ssali and Kampala Central Member of Parliament Muhammad Nsereko.
Meanwhile, some of them are ineligible to stand for the top job according to the FUFA constitution which restricts candidature for the presidency to a person who has served in positions of football administration for at least seven years in the last ten years. That automatically locks out Kabushenga, Nsereko and Mark Ssali among others but even stranger amendments have been done in the past that it is impossible to rule out the trio or any other interested party.
“I see the rules as just prohibitive but am consulting with lawyers to see if they can be changed. What matters is not the rules but the leadership that someone offers”, Kabushenga argued.
While appearing on Spectrum on Radio One, Magogo admitted that the rule is prohibitive but said it was meant to utilize the experience of people who have been in football management for some time.
“Of course the law is meant to restrict people who have not been in football administration from assuming powers from nowhere”, he said.
Long serving sports journalist and former columnist with Sunday Vision Joseph Kabuleta trashes the act and argues it was passed to keep the current regime in office for life. He adds that if that rule existed in the constitution before, even outgoing president Lawrence Mulindwa wouldn’t have been viable for the post.
“The current regime has made everything possible to stay in power and that explains why such an act was passed. If it was in existence before, even Mulindwa would have been locked out”, Kabuleta argues.
On the other hand, it’s speculated that the August 30 elections won’t take place as government plans to disband the federation and appoint the normalization committee to oversee the game as it happened nine years back.
According to reports, the office of the Solicitor General’s interpretation of the FUFA legality has confirmed that the Mengo body have not only been in office legally as they were not constituted under the 1964 Sports Act but “were completely out of order” by registering as a limited company.
Reports further reveal that the minister instituted a task force which is already ‘halfway their work of formulating a new Act’ in addition to instituting an eight-man interim committee made up of eminent ex-sportsmen, which has already been approved by Cabinet, that will take over and oversee the electing of the new Fufa executive later.
Whether in August or latter, the federation will get a new president and who knows; even Mulindwa may rescind his decision and contest under the newly enacted body.
Time will tell.