UGANDA Sports Press Association (USPA) yesterday petitioned the Army Commander Aronda Nyakairima to pardon IBF junior middleweight champion Kassim â€˜The Presidentâ€™ Ouma who the UPDF has declared a deserter.
Ouma defended his title last month against Ghanaian Kofi Jantuah.
Ouma (right) is favourite to win the USPA sportsman of the year award among two other contestants. The association fears if voted he would not attend the glamourous ceremony slated for April due to the UPDF stand.
Others are footballer Ibrahim Sekagya and rally driver Charles Lubega
USPA chairman Joseph Kabuleta said during the scribesâ€™ monthly meeting at Hotel Africana that the association was petitioning the army commander to pardon Ouma so that he would be crowned in Kampala in case he won.
State minister for defence Ruth Nankabirwa last week told Parliament that, â€œ He (Ouma) is a deserter and we are not likely to compromise the standard and discipline of the army.â€
Meanwhile, the professional boxer was voted USPA sportsman of January. Ouma won the journalistsâ€™ favour with 660 ballots as opposed to 560 for fellow boxer Abdu Tebazalwa .
The journalists also commended chess player Walter Okas for winning the juniors championships.
Footballer Geoffrey Sserunkuma for KCC FCâ€™s equaliser against Kipanga FC at the Confederations Cup in Zanzibar and Robert Sentongo for SC Villaâ€™s lone goal against Adulis FC of Eritrea in the MTN CAF Champions League first leg.
Badru Lusambya won recognition for retaining his ABU light middleweight belt against Deo Wanana while KBC was honoured for retaining the seniors boxing championships.
Meanwhile, Police chief Maj Gen Katumba Wamala is expected to lead another Law Enforcement Torch Run aimed at raising sh78m for Ugandaâ€™s Special Olympic floor hockey team on Thursday.
The team of 23 players and officials is fine-tuning at Mbuya parish hall ahead of the winter games that kick off on February 25 in Nagano, Japan.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Johnson Wadada who briefed Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) on their liaison with Special Olympics Uganda towards the games said that their involvement was a social responsibility.
â€œThis one is intended to minimise the negative mentality of the public that only associate the force (Police) with spot of trouble,â€ Wadada said.
He said that the 30kilometre run would start at Central Police Station (CPS) in Kampala at 9:30am and cover most police division headquarters around the city before ending at the Constitutional Square at 12:30pm.
Chairman of Law Enforcement Torch Run Emmanuel Basulwa said in a press release that over 10 companies and individuals have already supported the team while a couple of others have pledged their contributions.
Pardon Ouma, USPA pleads to army boss