By James Bakama
Saturday: UAF elections
National Council of Sports has told the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) to look outside the sports fraternity for a returning officer for their upcoming elections.
This follows petitions against the electoral process that is supposed to pave way for election of the federation’s new leadership on Saturday.
The petitioners led by former national athlete Julius Achon not only question returning officer William Blick’s neutrality, but also the fairness of the process bringing forth delegates.
“We met UAF’s executive on Thursday and advised them to get an alternative returning offi cer preferably from outside sports circles. If this is not done, we shall intervene,” revealed National Council of Sports chairman Bosco Onyik.
Citing boxing which got the services of Uganda Law Society president Ruth Sebatindira to end years of wrangling, Onyik said it was only proper that UAF also looked outside sports.
“Since Blick is elected by the same UAF executive members, sections in the athletics fraternity see a confl ict of interest,” noted Onyik.
Achon has accused UAF of locking out delegates critical of the Domenic Otucet led federation. He has together with 12 districts petitioned NCS.
Achon has also through his lawyers Ntende, Owor and Company Advocates also warned that if corrective measures are not taken, he will seek justice in the courts of law. His lawyers note that the electoral college may not be fully constituted.
“Some districts deemed to be of doubtful allegiance to the current holders of the office have not received invitations and delegates’ forms. This is a form of deliberate disenfranchisement,” reads the lawyers’ letter in part.
The petitioners want proper elections that clearly define how delegates are elected from district level.
“This process should have been supervised by an independent returning officer but instead all electoral processes are being handled by the office of UAF’s Organizing Secretary. In this case, how free and fair will the election be?”
“Most of the delegates are Kampala based yet representing upcountry constituencies.”
But Otucet maintains that those complaining are; “Either not paid up or have not fulfilled the other requirement of participating in at least two UAF activities in a season.”
UAF on trial