The Observer (Kampala)

8 November 2012

Uganda: Vianney Nsimbe - Can We Bank On Bakka?

I have lost count of the number of people I have interfaced with over the last one week since it emerged that Charles Bakkabulindi, the sports state minister, held consultative meetings with warring factions to restore sanity in Ugandan football.

On one hand is the Lawrence Mulindwa-led Fufa, which is recognised by Fifa and the government while Fred Muwema leads another faction that maintains it is the legitimate Fufa. Due to the confusion, both bodies run two parallel topflight leagues concurrently.

A year of fighting is a long time and for as long as Bakkabulindi continues teetering, he risks a legacy of indecision and cowardice. The pressure is weighing down on him to show that football is in safe custody. To solve the present problems, he has a number of options, albeit with implications.

Knowing Bakkabulindi, he likes to please everyone. So, expect him to come up with a win-win decision for both parties in two weeks time as he promised. And what could that be?

There is a possibility he might rule that Muwema stops calling himself interim Fufa president and instead concentrate on Uganda Super League (USL) duties. In turn, Fufa would withdraw from running the Fufa Super League (FSL).

However, knowing Muwema, he's not about to accept such an arrangement simply because it leaves the concerns regarding the promulgated constitution unresolved. Concerns that certain articles in the Fufa constitution were doctored.

Besides, the aforementioned arrangement would hinge on Zubair Galiwango withdrawing the court case against Fufa on the same premise of suspected forgery. And for as long as the case remains in court, Fufa remains uncomfortable.

My question is; why would Bakkabulindi make such a demand of Galiwango, yet hearing this case and passing a verdict on it would allow justice to prevail and clear people's names once and for all.

The next possibility Bakkabulindi could consider is appointing a coalition committee comprised of members from both sides. But if this can't work, then Bakkabulindi will have no option but to uproot all the warring factions from their safe zones and appoint a new body of neutrals to run football.

Of course this has risks. The world football governing body, Fifa wouldn't take kindly to this move. It would be interpreted as government interference, which would cause a ban.

That said, every Bakkabulindi decision will have risks. Choosing to vanquish one of the sides has ramifications that can be legalistic too. Yet, what remains is the fact that a decision has to be taken sooner rather than later to save the football environment from getting any worse.

I have to admit, Bakkabulindi hasn't scored much with me lately since he sat on the Hajji Abbas Kaawaase report. It is eight weeks since it was released.

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