By James Bakama
ONE of Uganda’s most stable sports bodies could be headed for murky waters.
Former athlete Julius Achon has vowed to take Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) to court to resolve what he describes as an unfair electoral process.
Achon’s move follows a decision by National Council of Sports (NCS) to go ahead with Saturday’s general assembly.
Uganda’s first world champion, who is leading 21 petitioners, wants the elections not only postponed for at least two months, but also supervised by a neutral body.
A meeting convened by NCS chairman Bosco Onyik in search of an agreeable position between the two parties failed to bear fruits on Wednesday.
Achon and his team refused an offer of allowing Lira, Nakapiririt, Entebbe Town Council, Mayuge, Kawempe and Kampala central district associations to vote in Saturday’s elections.
The six lost membership in 2010 for defaulting on affiliation fees. UAF had in response to Onyik’s request to loosen up on the electoral requirements accepted to let in the six associations.
But the petitioners still insisted that the ground was still not level.
“We can only have free and fair elections if the entire process is repeated from the grassroots throughout the entire country,” said Kapchorwa Sports Officer Alfred Musau.
Federation members were all smiles when Onyik stuck to his position after the four hour meeting at Lugogo
“Achon has been saying that we are blocking him. He can now contest for presidency as a delegate from Lira. Let him come. The ballot will decide,” challenged UAF organizing secretary Faustin Kiwa.
But it had earlier been UAF on the ropes. They had no clear explanation why there were no electoral guidelines.
Onyik also wondered why affiliation fees for the eligible districts was paid close to the election.
“It raises suspicion when you see most of the payments in December and January.”
NCS and the petitioners were also surprised by a case where UAF converted a district’s winning prize into affiliation fees.
UAF also had the petitioners on the back foot when it noted that affiliation payments of most of the northern region associations had not only been made the same day, but also in the same bank and on the same teller.
The tide changed in UAF’s favour when federation head Domenic Otuchet said that their world body had instructed them not to hold elections later than January 30th.
An NCS request for a postponement by four days was also rejected on grounds that the national cross-country was scheduled for February 1.
UAF has been instructed to issue election guidelines today. They are also supposed to produce a voters’ list.