By Swalley Kenyi
As SC Villa player Karim Ndugwa is expected to seal his transfer to Kenyan football club AFC Leopards, another Ugandan Francis Olaki is also pursuing a move to Kenya Premier League outfit Tusker FC.
The likes of Martin Kizza, Khalid Aucho, Musa Mudde, Robert Omunuk, Farouq Ssentongo, Israel Emuge and Godfrey Walusimbi among others are already plying their trade in different Kenya Premier League clubs.
Olaki has been in Albanian club KF Tirana but was laid off at the end of December last year. The player has since confirmed that he is heading to Tusker FC instead of Ugandan champions KCCA FC that is also interested in his services.
So why is there increased interest in Ugandan players. Current SC Villa tactician and former Sofapaka coach Sam Ssimbwa told this website that Kenyan clubs are interested in Ugandan players because they are more talented compared to the home boys.
The players on the other hand earn better in Kenya compared to what they are paid if at all in the Uganda Premier League. KPL clubs reportedly pay between $1000 (sh2.8m) and $3000 (sh8.4m) monthly and get match bonuses of $100 (sh279500).
"It could even be more now because when I was at Sofapaka, Musa Mudde used to earn $1200. Every player gets $100 bonus which is twice what Ugandan clubs can afford," Ssimbwa explained.
"The trend will affect our standards here. But we work to earn. Who can stop the trend if we cannot address players and coaches demands?" he wondered.
Many of the Uganda Premier League clubs do not pay their players and blame it on lack of sponsors.
There appears to be more opening for Uganda footballers to join the Kenya Premier League after Football Kenya Federation allowed Gor Mahia and Sofapaka a total of 14 foreign players ahead of their CAF engagements next month.
Gor Mahia with the help of Ugandan striker Dan Sserunkuuma's brilliant performances last year will represent Kenya in the 2015 CAF Champions League while Sofapaka will feature in the Confederations Cup.
Sserunkuuma has since joined Tanzanian giants Simba SC and Gor Mahia is reportedly pursuing his fellow countrymen Aucho and Ssentongo among other foreign players from Liberia and Ghana to fill their slot of seven.
If the duo succeed, they will join Israel Emuge and Godfrey Walusimbi, who were part of the club's success last season.