The Monitor (Kampala)

Uganda: Kabenge Steps Aside From Olympic Committee

Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) secretary general Peninah Kabenge has stepped aside, paving way for investigations into allegations of forgery against her.

Kabenge was recently accused of forging UOC president Roger Ddungu's signature to nominate herself for an international award.

Kabenge's predecessor Gabriel Oloka also accuses her of serving two sports bodies in contravention of the UOC constitution. Besides UOC, Kabenge is a member of the National Council of Sports (NCS) board. A probe committee headed by newly-elected UOC vice-president (administration) William Blick has now been instituted to handle the matter and produce a report in 10 days.

UOC vice-president (technical) Dennis Galabuzi, assistant secretary general Nicholas P'minga, treasurer Godfrey Nuwagaba, Sharifa Sanyu, Ambrose Tashobya and Donald Rukare (all members of the UOC executive) complete the probe team. "I am very innocent, that's why I am paving way for investigations," Kabenge, who left yesterday night for Los Angeles where she will receive the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women and Sports award on Friday, said. "I am very confident the committee will handle the case in an unbiased manner."

Oloka, who lost to Kabenge in the 2009 UOC elections, argues that her successor should have informed the fraternity about the IOC award and called for entries from other members.

"What Kabenge did is fraud," Oloka said of Kabenge's actions. Kabenge insists she only scanned Ddungu's signature and use it on a letter to IOC after consulting the president on phone.

"He (Ddungu) was out of the country and I was working on a tight deadline," Kabenge said during the UOC general assembly in Gulu on February 4. UOC vice-president Galabuzi said they received a letter from lawyers, acting on behalf of Oloka, asking them to handle Kabenge's issues. Galabuzi said he was surprised by Oloka's move.

"Oloka is not even part of the UOC executive. I don't understand on what grounds his lawyers wrote to us," Galabuzi said.

"As the executive, we have the mandate to solve internal disputes especially after being approved by the general assembly."

The probe committee will have its first session on Friday but Kabenge will not be around to give her side of the story. It is also not clear whether UOC head Ddungu, who some believe is plotting Kabenge's downfall, will testify before the committee.

UOC will hold an extra-ordinary assembly in May to discuss the findings of the probe.

Since taking over office in 2009, the Ddungu-led executive has been embroiled in wrangles.

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