By Eng. Moses Magogo
I woke up to pictures of Villa Park being graded by tractors for the construction of the Clock-Tower Flyover. This is the place of my first contact with Ugandan football when I was just 11 years old and instantly started my lifetime love with SC Villa. The theatre for Uganda’s greatest footballers that I ever saw is now history and this is the reality. This is simply because we did not plan for posterity. We continued to write history on water for over 40 years. This has inspired me to write this article and kindly appreciate my emotions.
As a non-Ugandan who has worked with Ugandans for a long time, I have no option but listen to his mind. I quote Mr. Milutin Sredojević aka Micho that Ugandan’s are famed for finding fault, claiming glory and making excuses
It is not part of us as Ugandans to stand up and take fault and be sorry neither is it in our DNA to stand in front of those we consider mighty and point out their fault. Many a people just keep quiet for fear of the ire of the popular wrong. Many praise things they know are wrong for their instant benefit or for popularity. I love the fact that I have as many friends as foes over my being straight in giving my mind even if it is unpopular
Property is acquired from the bona fide owner by purchase, donation, inheritance or in some cases by creation and documentations are required to certify ownership. Staying long in a place cannot give you ownership
The British allocated land to the parties that took interest in the early 1900s and the following entities did not buy but were allocated land in square miles
Churches, Mosques, Schools, Markets, Hotels, Hospitals, Universities, Police, Army, Prisons, Kingdoms, Industries, forests etc and the rest of the unallocated land was handed to the Government of Uganda as the custodians on behalf of Ugandans. Sport was not helped by the fact that there was no strong central entity that would hold land on behalf of the sports fraternity and only Nakivubo by the 1954 Nakivubo Act of Parliament and Lugogo allocated to the Uganda Sports Union were the only pieces reserved for Sports. In the countryside the Stadiums and Boma Grounds, reserved for community activities and not specifically sports, were left in the hands of the local governments that have since given them all away in the name of development
The challenge we are facing as Sport and football in particular is that there was no plan to own or demand for land by the forefathers of FUFA and the Clubs. The bitter fact is that the principal owners of the land in Uganda did not buy it from anyone neither was it allocated to them by God. They simply took advantage of being present at the sharing table. As sport we are unfortunate not to have been present then. This is the price we are paying and a reality we must deal with now and not tomorrow.
The Baganda have a saying that “ Enkoko yo mutamivu ….” Literally meaning that a chicken belonging to a drunkard only counts the night it says. This is the scenario of sports activities squatting on others peoples land.
There is no club in Uganda which is not in the same boat with SC Villa. The posterity minds must look clearly at matters beyond the current status.
1) Does KCCA FC own the Star Times Stadium?
2) Does SC Vipers own the St Mary’s Stadium?
3) Does any other Club own any sports infrastructure?
We now all aware that Express FC is also a squatter as Mutesa II Stadium
Sport, one of the fastest world growing industries, is an industry without infrastructure and without legislation but serving over 80% of Uganda’s population
It is therefore important to raise the bar of sports management in this country to start engaging the authorities for posterity. The Government is the biggest holder of land and has demonstrated that it can give out land to foreign investors who make a case. The Sports Fraternity should as well be allocated land by the government. We need to make a case not petty bickering.
As FUFA, we are going to organise a stakeholders’ workshop about sports infrastructure and engage the authorities in a civilise manner so that Sports is allocated land throughout the country.
The writer is FUFA President and CAF Executive