The enforced six-month break in the football season has seen Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) FC re-emerge into a new era with a change in its structure.
On Wednesday afternoon, Henry Mayeku was unveiled as the club’s new Chief Executive Officer, taking over from Bridget Nakayenga who served on an interim basis since January 2020.
Mayeku joined the club on a one-year contract, but with an option for renewal depending on his success in his tenure. His appointment ushers the club into a new era with a promise of fresh strategic plans and renewed vision.
Mayeku and URA acknowledge that the club has stalled at a certain level and that there is a need to reboot the system at the club, give it a fresh outlook and fight for silverware as well.
The Tax Collectors secured their first league trophy in 2006 – four years after securing promotion to the top flight. They went on to shake the status quo at the top, winning three league titles in five years.
Since 2013, when URA finished runners up, league success has eluded the Tax Collectors, and while they managed to win the Uganda Cup in 2012 and 2014, there remains largely a feeling of unfinished business at the club.
Importantly, the club directors recognised the need to revamp the club’s administration, instituting an independent secretariat to run the day to day affairs at URA FC. Ivan Kakembo was given the mantle, but for even for the milestone achievements in administration, trophies remained elusive.
Kakembo left in January 2020 following episodes of public fallouts with head coach Sam Ssimbwa and another near-miss season. His biggest achievement was he had set the standards by which the club could sail on.
Step in Mayeku, one of their own who has followed the club and significantly served the club in the period when silverware was almost a guarantee at the club.
Mayeku served as URA’s general secretary between 2011 and 2016 and was part of the club’s success as they won the 2011 Uganda Premier League title as well as the Uganda Cup in 2012 and 2014.
He is someone who knows his way around both the club and URA (the other body) having also served a finance officer with the authority since 2002, where he has also served as a stores assistant.
Mayeku left with a sour feeling in 2016 after losing the club’s presidential election but returns as the person in charge of leading the club back to its former glory, and he is relishing the challenge.
“I thank the board for showing the trust in me and extending this opportunity to me. This is a unique privilege for me to return to a club that I call home,” Mayeku told media.
“This is a club that I served from its infancy. My objective is to turn around this club but this is a journey that we must take together.”
“When we were starting the club in 1997, we needed results at first and we achieved short term plans. Now we need to plan for the long term.”
“We need to build sustainability which will take us to the next level. That will be driven by several strategies which include brand activation, building partnerships, empowering our human resource and the structures of the club by building a permanent home for the club,” he added.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony at the URA headquarters in Nakawa, club chairman Kizza James congratulated Mayeku, but also thanked his predecessor Kakembo for his efforts towards building the club’s secretariat.
“The 2019/20 season was not quite a roller coast for us as a club considering the rough first round that we endured. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world by storm and amongst the most affected ventures happens to be sport.”
“We are delighted to have finally secured the services of a new CEO, Henry Mayeku who surpassed all in his other colleagues in a vigorous interview that was conducted by the club.”
“We strongly believe Henry (Mayeku) is going to steer the club to another level of not only competing locally but also in the continent.”
“With his professionalism and passion for the football game, we can only hope for nothing but to become the model club in Uganda and on the continent,” Kizza told the media.
Recently, URA has flattered to decieve especially in the league as they have produced seasons with descernible halves where a poor start is followed by an implossion in the second half as they have continued to comeshort of their rivals.
But the new found ambition and desire to return to the top of the Uganda Premier League and also test their weight with the big clubs on the continent ushers in a new and exciting future, one filled with optimism and belief that maybe the good days will return.