Weeks after he was silently expelled from the Uganda Rugby Cranes training camp ahead of the Rugby Africa Cup 2021 tournament, Isaac Rujumba has embarked on a tell-all campaign against Uganda Rugby Union.
In a blog post on Medium -a publishing platform- titled “Plight of a player: The dilemma of a fraternity under siege”, Rujumba tells, in touching detail, his painful experience playing rugby in the country.
He begins by sharing the ordeal he had been through after suffering a shoulder injury on national duty with the U19 team in Nairobi, Kenya in 2014.
“I experienced my first bit of injustice and unfairness at the hands of the Uganda Rugby Union in 2014. A young robust rugby player fresh out of high school, I was excited to be called up to the national U(19) team to represent the nation. Little did I know, this call up only marked the starting point of three years of pain and suffering, during which I almost lost all motor function in my right hand,” reads the blog.
Rujumba has represented the country at the U19 level and at the 2018 FISU World University Championships-Rugby Sevens in Windhoek, Namibia. He was set to make his senior debut this year after a brilliant performance for his club Black Pirates that caught the eye of the selectors.
Further in the blog, Rujumba proceeds to accuse URU of frustrating his, and other individuals he does not mention in the post, efforts to form the Uganda Rugby Players’ Association. The players’ association would play the role of mother hen for the players by protecting their rights and advocating for their needs.
“In the same year when I got injured, we lobbied for the formation of the URPA (Uganda Rugby Players’ Association), which was meant to protect player rights and look out for players’ needs. This was quickly fought by the Rugby Union using the divide and conquer methodology, where they talked some players out of this, and from what I’ve heard, bribed some of the players from the older generation to stand against this.”
He however does not provide any evidence to support these allegations.
URU has distanced itself from Rujumba and remained tight-lipped on the above accusations. Ramsey Olinga, CEO at the Lugogo-based sports federation, responded in an email saying that he is not a player under their care and referred Kawowo Sports to his contracted club Black Pirates.
“Isaac Rujumba is not a national team player under our care. Maybe ask his club that he reports to,” read the email from Olinga.
A statement from Black Pirates Rugby Club secretary Pius Omuna could not be obtained by press time.