Rev. Canon Duncans Mugumya. the commissioner of physical education and sports (Credit: David Isabirye)

The newly appointed commissioner for physical planning and sports Reverend Canon Duncans Mugumya has assured the family of weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko of all the necessary support via rehabilitation and logistics.

Rev. Canon Mugumya was addressing the media at Entebbe International Airport on Friday moments after the deportation of the 20 year old weightlifter who had unsuccessfully tried to run away after failing to hit the Olympics qualification mark.

We are happy that Julius Ssekitoleko returned home in a good healthy condition. We shall work out logistics and carry on the counseling so that he is rehabilitated well. There is hope for his fast recovery to resume sports activities.

Reverend Canon Duncans Mugumya, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Sports
Rev. Canon Duncans Mugumya_Commissioner of Physical Education addressing the media at Entebbe International Airport (Credit: David Isabirye)

He was however tough on the sportsman’s act of disappearing despite having signed a code of conduct before departure to Japan.

“The Ugandan government insists that his action violated the Code of Conduct, which each member of the team pledged to abide by. Ssekitoleko was wrong here.” Rev. Canon Mugumya added.

Ugandan Weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko

A teary Juliet Nalwadda, the mother of Ssekitoleko pleaded with the Government of Uganda to pardon his son as she also retaliated how her son yearned to win an Olympic medal.

Nalwadda was flanked by his sister (Pauline Nakasagga) and the spouse to Ssekitoleko (Desire Nampeewo).

Before Ssekitoleko left for Japan, he assured us that he had gone to work hard win a medal, to improve his life and that of the family. He left behind a 5 month’s pregnant wife and unfortunately, they were locked out of the house because of rent arrears. There was no misery when he was told that he did not make the make for Olympics and he had to return home. All these happened in a quick flash. I ask the Government to forgive my son of any wrong doing. We all commit mistakes and he might have done it out of fear. I also humbly ask the Government to help him rehabilitate and provide some financial assistance at this stage.

Juliet Nalwadda, the mother of Julius Ssekitoleko
L-R: Juliet-Nalwadda (mother of Julius Ssekitoleko), Pauline Nakasagga (sister of Nalwadda) and Desire Nampeewo (wife to Ssekitoleko) at Entebbe International Airport on Friday morning (Credit: David Isabirye)

After two hours of grilling and interrogation at Entebbe international Airport, he was driven to the Police CID Headquarters in Kibuli, Kampala to record further statements with Interpol.

By the time of publishing this report, he was still detained at the Police CID headquarters where he is expected to record a statement.

Ssekitoleko had fled from his hotel room in Izumisano, Osako during pre-Olympics training in western Japan having learnt that he was due to travel back home before the Olympics Games kicked off since he had failed to hit the qualification mark.

After days after he had gone missing, Ssekitoleko was found in Yokkaichi city by the Japanese Mie prefectural police.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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