By James Bakama
Tomorrow: UAF meets petitioners
Saturday: UAF elections
AS petitions flood in protesting Uganda Athletics Federation’s elections this weekend, NCS has called for talks between the clashing parties.
The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at 10am. In yet another development, UAF will today also announce a new returning officer in replacement of Uganda Olympic Committee president William Blick.
“We want the petitioners to sit with UAF on a round table. We don’t want scenarios where business is being interrupted by court injunctions,” said NCS chairman Bosco Onyik.
Council’s call for talks follows a rise in petitions from 12 last week to 22 yesterday.
The Acholi sub region was the latest to show discontent with six petitions.
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.
Achon has threatened to seeks justice in the courts of law should NCS fail to stop Saturday’s assembly.
UAF is accused of being selective in formation of the general assembly that will elect a new executive on Saturday. The petitioners don’t see Blick as a fair choice UAF were part of the electorate that voted him into office.
But when UAF president Domenic Otuchet was contacted yesterday he said he was yet to be informed of the talks.
“As far as I am concerned, there is an organising committee meeting for the Africa Cross-Country Championships at the same time,” noted Otuchet adding that his executive can only participate in tomorrow’s proceedings if the time is changed.
Otuchet insists that as far as h is concerned, there is no power struggle in the federation. “All I can say, we are following the constitution and the assembly will go ahead as planned.” Otuchet said UAF’s decision to replace Blick was not after pressure from the petitioners but due to absence of the UOC boss.
“We don’t have any doubts about his integrity. But he is out of the country, and in such situations, the executive is mandated to appoint a replacement. You will have the name of the new returning officer tomorrow.”
He insists that the petitioners are ineligible for the assembly.
“Some have no voting rights by virtue of the fact that by the time the federation’s constitution was made in 2005 they were yet to get district status.”
He cited Kapchorwa, which in the UAF constitution is a single block yet in the current local government set up is divided into Bukwo, Kween and Kapchorwa districts.