On Thursday morning, news filtered through that Allan Okello was edging closer towards becoming a Vipers SC player.
The attacking midfield gem mutually terminated his contract with Algeria’s AC Paradou following a stint last season with KCCA – a club where he began his career and is a darling.
For most fans, it was expected that if it were to play in Uganda again, he would still return to KCCA but that hasn’t turned out to be the case.
In the afternoon before their home clash with Arua Hill, Vipers unveiled KCCA’s ‘darling.’
Okello becoming a Viper player will certainly be one of the most controversial Uganda Premier League transfers of all time, but it’s just the latest in a growing list of contentious deals involving players moving to a club’s rival.
Here are eight of the most memorably shocking.
Herman Wasswa (Villa to KCCA)
In January 2013, KCCA pulled one of the most recent transfer coups when they signed then red-hot Herman Wasswa from rivals SC Villa.
The move proved to be shrewd piece of business as Wasswa went on to bang in goals for the Kasasiro and helped them win the league with the striker ending the campaign as the golden boot winner.
Moses Ndaula (Villa to Express)
After four seasons with SC Villa, Moses Ndaula opted to join bitter rivals Express in 1984.
The Jogoos used all avenues to block the move and succeeded as Fufa ruled in their favour since Ndaula was already registered for Caf games with the league champions.
However, the player refused to play for the Blues and spent the whole season on the sideline joining the Red Eagles a year later.
Ibrahim Sadam Juma (Express to KCCA)
In January 2017, KCCA persuaded Ibrahim Sadam Juma to join them after rediscovering his form at Express which he had joined after he was released by Vipers.
The move failed before the closure of the window but KCCA insisted until they got their man in March with the midfielder crossing from Wankulukuku.
KCCA thought they would use the international window to register him but Caf rebuked as he was still registered as a Red Eagles player.
Saddam missed the crossing stages of the season but kept training with KCCA and to the bitterness of the Red half of Kampala, the two sides met in the Uganda Cup semis with the Kasasiro just edging it with Sadam in the stands.
Phillip Obwin (Villa to Express)
You can’t mention controversial transfers in Uganda without the name Phillip Obwin surfacing.
After helping Express win the league and cup in 1995, Obwin shocked the Red Eagles fraternity by showing the desire to join arch rivals SC Villa the following year.
The defender even went ahead and trained with Villa before signing with them.
Express took matters to the responsible committees in Fufa where they won the case but Obwin refused to return.
In return, Villa was forced to play six million to Express and the player moved on to the anguish of Express fans.
He later returned to Wankulukuku but many still see him as a traitor.
Morley Byekwaso (KCCA to Villa)
Morley Byekwaso is loved and loathed in equal measure at Lugogo.
In the early 2000s, the intelligent midfielder walked away from Lugogo to Villa Park with the KCCA faithful labelling him a traitor.
In the season before his move, Byekwaso had missed a penalty against Villa yet many claim he was never the first choice penalty taker for the club.
Jimmy Kirunda (KCCA to Villa)
Kirunda’s transfer to Villa in 1981 didn’t only shock the Lugogo fans but every fan in the land.
Then KCCA Captain and Principal Sports Officer at KCC – the institution, Kirunda who was iconic at Lugogo completed a move to Villa Park.
He went on to help Villa win the league title unbeaten and despite later returning to Lugogo, his cult hero status at the club was hugely dented.
Hassan Mubiru (Villa to Express)
This could rank as the most controversial transfer ever in Ugandan football.
Mubiru was a darling at Villa where he had developed the most devastating attacking combination with Andrew Mukasa (MU-MU) that no opponent wanted to face.
After two years at Villa, Mubiru shocked the Villa faithful by crossing the divide to join Express FC.
Since then, Villa fans hated him, called him all sorts of names and to the football fraternity, he was a Luis Figo after the Portuguese legend had also ditched Barcelona for rivals Real Madrid.
Express Chairman Godfrey Kirumira was then nicknamed Perez, the Real Madrid Supremo who had pulled off the most controversial transfer in world football by convincing Figo to move to Santiago Bernabeu.
Maurice Sunguti (Express to Villa)
With Express taking Mubiru, Villa had to react and in turn, they signed Kenya international Maurice Sunguti as a direct replacement for the departed ‘Figo’.
His Express contract had expired and many thought he had travelled back to Kenya after he boarded a bus to Nairobi.
Its reported that he had already cut a deal with Hajji Omar Mandela and got off the bus at Mukono where he was picked by Villa officials who drove him to Fufa House, Nakulabye to the surprise of Express fans.