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Opinion
Uganda Athletics Federation holds elections on January 25Publish Date: Dec 30, 2013
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By James William Mugeni

After the last delegate’s assembly held on December 14, 2013 and the athletics dinner, there was enough evidence that the coming elections could have challenges.

The federation, other than help organise an election, has helped organise a selection. It is doing everything within its means to excommunicate anybody who disagrees with them on the current executives from the coming elections. The current executives’ take pride in the exploits of Kiprotich which they use strongly to launch a re-election campaign of no change for a winning team.

Matters are made worse since the delegates are chosen by the federation, which determines who comes as a delegate. We have delegates who do not realise the service they have to our nation by doing the right thing. The previous elections were technically engineered.

The delegates being the districts’ choices, and as we get closer to the elections, it would be better to ensure that they are a choice made by districts from active district or grass root associations but not engineered from the centre. This delegate’s assembly rosy report was presented.

The report talks about functionless commissions. These functionless commissions are our mistakes as a result of the delegates we send merely as place holders but not people who will serve athletics. Delegate’s duty is not about elections only but to ensure that athletics is in their district.

Representation means tasking the executive. We can debate and raise this bar high for the coming elections.

The results from the Olympic Games and World Championships are simultaneously remarkable, encouraging and sobering. This success marks an impressive return to athletics but what is this impressive return to athletics implying? Sobering would mean we know what to do for the coming elections.

It took 40 years to get to this far and management of athletics being part of the wider problem. That success meant we have the potential and it took athletes operating away from Uganda especially in Kenya and transferring that success home. What we need at home now is to immediately call for re-organisation to meet this new chapter.

1. It must be built on extensive managerial reforms at the federation. The federation that is run without districts associations and secondary schools representation is taking athletics nowhere.

2. It requires the appointment of a respected new executive, if not reinforcing the existing one with people who can keep up with the current trend in athletics. You mention UAF and same names come up every year of elections because these people have ring-fenced themselves.

3. A new funding model that focuses upon priority areas, especially the grassroots development. Right from corporate to government funding, all are waiting for the Kiprotichs at the top. The millions that are given to reward success are only acting at the top of the food chain we need these millions at the bottom.

4. There is need to embrace both the national and international confidence in the funding that has been restored by the recent success. If we fostered stability and a sound managerial system where there is accountability, commitment, ethical behaviour, excellence, teamwork and transparency, then athletics can once again appeal to the masses in this country.

Fraudsters are currently at the top simply playing tricks on corporate and government that, if not checked, the budding child will be killed soon. As we move to UAF elections, we have reports of instances where the federation is using family members to be delegates for the assembly that is going to constitute the electoral college.

District associations are not informed of the game as played in Kampala. The federation is funding indebted districts and planting delegates’ who only act as a voter bank and after elections athletics is left To Whom It May Concern. If only National Council of Sports takes keen interest in this dirty game.

The secondary school and primary schools that have stakes in athletics are locked out of elections with a crafted constitution. Come January 25, 2014, you will see the same faces who have ring-fenced themselves to always constitute the same UAF executive.

This only spells doom for athletics.

The writer is the Coach Fame Athletics Club
0772518546

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