The Employment Act (CAP 219) assented on May 24th 2006 is the official “Bible” for many Ugandan employees, football coaches in the country inclusive.
For the 2019-2020 Uganda Premier League season, a total of 11 clubs have changed their respective technical wings some by mutual consent and others by termination of a given party.
That aside, the common disease of nonpayment of dues (salaries, bonuses and allowances) has not only affected players and other staff at the clubs, but also the coaches well.
Many a time, several clauses in the Employment Act are wrongfully abused willingly and at times mistakenly.
Right from the time of negotiation for the contract of apprenticeship, the two parties in question (employee and employer) need to rhyme along the same wavelength.
In particular, as I relate this subject of discussion, I am interested with two sections for the time being; sections 97 and 65 regarding regulations, discipline and termination (Part VII) respectively.
The Employment Act in Part IV with sections 23, 24, 26, 27 and 28; stresses the essence of valid employment contracts and their enforcement.
This is in line with good terms which has to be in writing, may be made orally and except as otherwise provided by this Act shall apply equally to oral and written contracts.
There are varying reasons as to why many club managements have been prompted to execute bitter the decisions of sacking their respective coaches.
These range from the obvious underperformance concerns coupled by a string of poor and unconvincing results, uncoordinated play, internal club woes, fans pressure, sheer suspect administrative glitches as well as many push and pull factors at play.
Fine, the employees often have well stipulated guidelines and performance bench marks to adhere to; as well in-house key pathways that must at all times be followed to the do, several times, the offender must face the music according to the law.
Rights and duties of either party as well spelt out in part VI of the Employment Act, sections 51-61 must also be duly respected to the brim.
The grey areas are exposed when one party diverts from the stipulated code of operation.
Many of the sacked coaches struggle to get their compensation fees from the bosses who are sometimes stubborn and reluctant to respect the employment contracts signed.
By March 25, 2020, eleven Uganda Premier League clubs; Vipers, Onduparaka, Bright Stars, BUL, Wakiso Giants, Express, Mbarara City, Kyetume, Maroons, Proline and lately Tooro United were all severely affected.
For starters; Wakiso Giants were the first club to part ways with their head coach Kefa Kisala who was working hand in hand with James Odoch.
The duo was sacked and in came Steven Bengo on the interim before Charles Livingstone Mbabazi who came in with Baker Kasule (assistant coach) and Yusuf “Shiekh” Ssenyonjo.
Mbabazi eventually released under a mutual consent arrangement as Bengo took over on a brief spell and Deo Sserwadda was named the head coach.
Mbarara City started with Brian Ssenyondo who was put aside to pave way for Paul “Latest” Nkata.
Nkata was later pushed away to create space for Ssenyondo again.
Ssenyondo convinced Sadiq Ssempigi to dump his Onduparaka assistant coach job and join him at the Ankole Lions in Mbarara, Western Uganda.
Newly promoted Kyetume hired George “Best” Nsimbe at the start of the season.
After unconvincing results, Nsimbe was sacked and former coach Jackson “Mia-Mia” Mayanja who had handled the club before Alex Isabirye Musongola came in todate.
Express kick-started the season with George Ssimwogerere in charge.
Depreciation in form prompted the club management to let him go and he was replaced by Richard Wasswa Bbosa.
Bbosa came forth with club legends as Odoch (first assistant), Ayub Balyejusa (trainer) and Samuel Kawalya (goalkeeping coach).
Jinja based BUL FC let go Peter Onen after a troublesome second round despite a promising first round performance.
Dan Kabale served on the interim before Arthur Kyesimira returned to serve where he had earlier worked as assistant coach in the yester-years. Kyesimira also lured James Magala as goalkeeping coach.
Bright Stars started the season with Muhammed “Meddey” Kisekka working alongside Simon Peter Mugerwa as assistant coach.
Kisekka was let go and Paul “Kiwa” Kiwanuka returned to the club where he had previously worked with Fred Kajoba as assistant coach.
Meanwhile, Mugerwa remained in his capacity as assistant coach.
Proline has been the other club disrupted with changes in the technical wing.
Shafik Bisaso left the country for greener pastures and he was replaced by Mathias “Salongo” Lule.
Lule also left the job as he was destined for a coaching course in “Europe”.
In came Baker Mbowa who worked hand in hand with former club player Anthony “Casano” Bongole.
Of late, Baker Kasule returned to the club and he has been working with Bongole.
West Nile based Onduparaka suffered a vaccum in the technical department when Mbabazi left for Wakiso Giants.
Morris Adiga and former Uganda Cranes right back Simeon Massa boldly took over before Ssenyonjo returned for the goalkeeping role of late.
Vipers let go Edward Golola (head coach), Richard Wasswa (assistant coach), Moses “Ugoboss” Oloya at a time they lost to SC Villa in the league and lowly Kajjansi United in the knock out Stanbic Uganda Cup.
Days later, Fred Kajoba Kisitu was recruited as head coach and he came with former Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Ibrahim Mugisha as goalkeeping coach and the two were to work with club legend Edward Ssali.
By the break of the league for the CHAN 2020 preparations, Kajoba had not yet announced his assistant coach.
Maroons were yet another affected party. Douglas Bamweyana alongside his entire technical staff were shown the exit door for a dismal second round where they struggled for long spells.
Now, Charles Ayiekoh Lukula is in charge of the club working alongside Eric “Kawowo” Ndifuna (assistant coach), Abubakar Tabula (trainer) and Moses “Ugoboss” Oloya (Goalkeeping coach)
Lately in the break, management of Tooro United announced the sacking of Muhammed Kisekka and his assistant Samuel Ssenyange.
The duo had replaced Ndifuna who temporarily took over when Wasswa Bbosa issued a polite resignation note.
Only five remained unperturbed; KCCA, Sports Club Villa, URA, Busoga United and Police.
Mike Hilary Mutebi and his entire working team have remained untouched at KCCA, Edward Kaziba and Ibrahim “Uchumi” Kirya are solid at SC Villa, Sam Bamweyana Ssimbwa and George Lutalo at URA, Abbey “Capello” Kikomeko at Busoga United and so is Abdallah Mubiru at Police.
By and large, there is need to realize that whereas many coaches have not been fairly sacked from their respective jobs, the various laws have to be enforced and justice be brought to book.
The Employment Act, Cap 219; Interpretation Act, Cap 3; Labour Unions Act, 2005; Local Governments Act, Cap 243; Labour Disputes (Arbitration and Settlement) Act 2006 and the famous Workers Compensation Act, Cap 225 all clearly spell out in bold the do’s and don’ts of the employees vis-à-vis the employers.
It remains a cardinal duty of every citizen concerned to enforce all these Acts, of course with help of qualified personnel as lawyers.
For the coaches, the Uganda Football Coaches Association (UFCA) and the mother body, FUFA have executed some steps to ensure that the coaches work in the best conditions, many have of course remained firm on their employment contracts under the guidance of their respective lawyers.
IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT SOME COACHES HAVE GONE THROUGH ALL SORTS OF HELL IN LINE OF THEIR DUTIES. the FIRST weakness comes from how THESE coaches get the jobs. the coaches need appointment letters which clearly show theIR duties at hand AND GOOD CLAUSES CONCERNING SALARIES, ALLOWANCES, BONUSES, termination noticeS AND THE LIKE. ALSO, Coaches need to realize that this is their job, one that pays them handsomely and hence have to get good people to work with like lawyers for negotiations.Alex Gitta, Football Coach-cum-lawyer
Fate of UPL Club’s Technical heads for the 2019-2020 Season:
- Wakiso Giants – Kefa Kisala, Steven Bengo (interim X2), Charles Livingstone Mbabazi, Deo Sserwadda (Current)
- Mbarara City – Brian Ssenyondo, Paul “Latest” Nkata, Brian Ssenyondo (Current)
- Kyetume – George “Best” Nsimbe, David Katono Mutono (Interim), Jackson “Mia-Mia” Mayanja, Alex Isabirye Musongola (Current)
- Express – George Ssimwogerere, Richard Wasswa Bbosa (Current)
- BUL – Peter Onen, Dan Kabale (interim), Arthur Kyesimira (Current)
- Bright Stars – Muhammed “Meddy” Kisekka, Paul “Kiwa” Kiwanuka (Current)
- Proline – Shafik Bisaso, Mathias “Salongo” Lule, Baker Mbowa, Anthony “Casano” Bongole (Interim), Baker Kasule (Interim)
- Onduparaka – Charles Livingstone Mbabazi, Simeon Masaba (Interim), Morris Adiga
- Vipers – Edward Golola, Fred Kajoba Kisitu (Current)
- Maroons – Douglas Bamweyana, Charles Ayiekoh Lukula (Current)
- Tooro United – Richard Wasswa Bbosa, Eric “Kawoowo” Ndifuna (Interim), Muhammed Kisekka, No Current coach
- KCCA – Mike Hilary Mutebi
- SC Villa – Edward Kaziba
- URA – Sam Bamweyana Ssimbwa
- Busoga United – Abbey “Capello” Kikomeko
- Police – Abdallah Mubiru