Dipu Ruparelia and his Executive

The Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) has probably had more on its plate over the past three months than any other local sports federation.

Well, not in terms of competitions but disciplinary and administrative issues.

From withdrawing clubs’ organising rights to suspending executive members. More than fifteen club members will also be out of motorsport activity for twelve months over involvement in an event, the Africa Kwetu Tour that was deemed illegal.

Competition-wise, the recently concluded Kabalega Rally has a request for review of results hanging on the administration’s head.

Barely has that dust settled than the Senate, the federation’s second structural body, pronounced itself on a matter concerning an extraordinary assembly.

In a letter to the federation management, the Senate directed on staying the election of a vacant position of Deputy Vice President Vintage, Touring, and Safety.

That position was not voted for at the 2020 Elective Assembly for absence of fitting candidates.

The Senate’s decision is premised on details that read in part; “first the hearing and final determination of the appeal before us by Enduro Uganda club, United Motorsport club, and some members/appellants.”

FMU management committee

The letter was signed by MacDusman Kabega; the Chairman of the Senate and former FMU presidents Jack Wavamuno and George Kagimu.

It is important to note that the extraordinary assembly due next month was a recommendation by the Legal and Disciplinary Committee that heard matters pertaining to the Africa Kwetu event held in September.

So, does the Senate have the power to make directives of such nature?

Kawowo Sports reached out to George Kagimu, a former federation president and a member of the Senate.

“The Senate is the supreme body in motorsport, meaning it prevails over the executive committee. If there is any issue that needs our involvement then we come in. 

“We were petitioned by members and clubs that felt that they didn’t have a fair hearing before their suspension. Even the President petitioned the Senate.

“So, we sat down and had a meeting and assessed all the petitions and we realised the members didn’t get a fair hearing which they have a right to.

“FMU is organising an assembly to fill a post, which implies these members will be deprived of representation in the assembly when their cases are not heard. So, we decided to leave the status quo as it is while we continue to hear the different parties at hand,” explained Kagimu.

According to the FMU Constitution, one of the Senate’s cardinal roles is to mediate and arbitrate matters of disagreement.

Therein also is that the Senate shall appoint a national appeals committee.

The absence of a National Appeals Committee falls as far back as 2016 when a matter of the Kabalega Rally was never heard by the committee.

More recently, a 2019 Kapeeka Rally case filed by Omar Mayanja continues to be shelved because of the absence of the same appeals committee.

Would an existing appeals committee save the federation of the current conundrums? Possibly. However, one is left wondering why the void exists and who is responsible.

From FMU’s constitution, the Senate shall appoint three members to constitute the National Appeals Committee which ought to receive and dispose of sporting and non-sporting appeals referred to them by the FMU Secretariat.

It has been more than five years, maybe more, since an appeals committee ever sat to hear a case?

So, would the Senate’s reaction be a case of putting the cart before the horse?

Moreso, questions are beginning to sprout about the composition of the Senate.

The Senate consists of five members; with three immediate former presidents and two eminent members from the fraternity. The two are nominated by the Executive every two years after an elective general assembly according to Article 7.3.1 of the FMU constitution.

Some members of the Senate Jack Wavamuno, Dusman Kabega, John Prinsloo, David Bitalo(former member) and Dusman Okee after the 2016 Kabalega rally appeal ruling.

Kawowo Sports has since learnt that the tenure of the Senate was extended to four years in line with the management term of office.

It is critical to note that with the exception of the newest member in Dusman Okee – the immediate past president, all nominated members have served in the Senate since 2016.

Did the federation Excom in hindsight not consider the nomination of new members after the 2020 election?

Seemingly, the FMU administration is finding itself at crossroads.

Any attempts to do good are met with legal or constitutional oversights.

Will the federation proceed with the extraordinary assembly or will there be a round table talk to put right what needs to be?

From the sidelines, many motorsport followers are watching.

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think