Racheal Nanyonga at the 2019 World Cup

Ugandan netball two time World Cup star and goal attacker Racheal Nanyonga has decried the rough exit of senior players from the She Cranes Netball team.

This follows the abrupt retirement of goal defender Lillian Ajio and near departure of goal keeper Muhayimina Namuwaya from the national team.

Ajio mysteriously called it quits after suffering a knee injury during the 2019 World Cup in Liverpool.

Lilian Ajio

In an interview with Kawowo Sports, she said the Uganda Netball Federation’s negligence compounded her recovery process as she couldn’t cater for her bills after the global showpiece.

Her club – Prisons – partly took care of the medical bills and her financial ineptness eventually bit back, a reason she ended her national career.

For Namuwaya, her trip to represent Uganda culminated in nearly nothing, she feels.

Muhayimana Namuwaya

The team that traveled to England for the 2019 World Cup hasn’t been rewarded, she says, despite niceties of 1M each from Janet Museveni, the First Lady and Education, and Sports Minister.

With this kind of situation, her career hangs in balance as she ponders on what she can do next.

A lot of dissatisfaction has been brewing over remuneration among the players, and some have also voiced their discontent to media.

Their protests after the World Cup have not gone down well with Uganda Netball Federation (UNF), the governing body overlooking them for the Africa Netball Championship.

The damning interview about “nepotism” in the Federation ran by the NBS TV investigative team is also believed to have stirred the massive exodus as well.

An excerpt of the investigative piece had President of the UNF, Susan Anek, justifying the employment her relatives as consultants for the 2019 World Cup trip to Liverpool, saying there was nothing “wrong”.

Racheal – who was dropped from the 2019 African Championships She Cranes team, alongside Ajio, Ruth Meeme and Sylivia Nanyonga – believes there should be a seamless transition of players from the older to the younger ones.

Racheal Nanyonga shoots

“We have many good players but we need to follow the example of the best netball countries,” Nanyonga told New Vision.

“I mean if you have a senior player why would you drop her yet when she can still perform?

“They should allow senior players and young players to compete for selection so that when the senior players leave the team the young ones have learnt a lot from them.

“But if you remove a senior player from the team when the upcoming one has not developed then that will affect the team.”

Disappointments

Ahead of the 2019 World Cup, the players missed daily allowances of Shs30,000 for more than a month and were demanding allowances worth $8000 (29.6m) by time of flag off, mid-last year.

In the 2015 Netball World Cup held in Australia, the same team reportedly received Shs540m out of a total of Shs1.8B it had requested from government.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports.

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