Hon Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi was on Saturday morning (May 15, 2021) re-elected unopposed to retain her position as the FUFA third Vice President for a period 2021-2025.
In her position, Nakiwala, who is also currently the Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs will continue to represent Uganda Premier League (UPL) and FUFA Big League (FBL) clubs at the FUFA Executive Committee.
Nakiwala is a prominent politician and businesswoman, who was once Express FC chairperson between June 2016 to Feb 2018.
Head of Sports at Nation Media Group – Uganda and auspicious politician, Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo describes Nakiwala’s re-election as a matched smart move aimed at improving ‘some specific people’s status in FUFA leadership.
“It is not even meant to be logical. This is politics. She (Nakiwala) has to get her back scratched in return for having scratched theirs too,” Kigongo explains.
To be more specific, Kigongo notes that in the past, FUFA President, Moses Magogo practically required Minister Nakiwala’s presence at the Mengo based institution, and now the latter needs the former.
Of course, Nakiwala insists she was veritably elected to power, but not everyone agrees that the Minister’s return to FUFA House was authentic.
One of the members of the electoral college – a UPL club representative who directly took part in the election cited foul play in the build-up towards the polls.
He noted first of all that the road map for 2021 FUFA Elections does not include elections of FUFA Big League delegates and Professional League vice president.
Regardless, the letter adjusting dates for nominations of FUFA Big League delegates and VP was slated for May 7, but an email and letter was shared with the electors on May 10, a day to the deadline of nominations on Tuesday.
“The notice for calling of Elective Congregation was shared Friday, May 14 at 1:00 PM, not even 24 hours before the Saturday morning election date,” the club official who preferred anonymity intimated to Football256.
In the Saturday election, 14 of the 16 FBL clubs were present except only two (Maroons and Tooro), as the UPL had only three UPL clubs represented (Express, URA, and Villa) to vote Nakiwala back as the representative of the 32 teams.
However, referring to the FUFA Statutes Article 8: Elections of the third FUFA vice president, Section 3; “Only first Division clubs may nominate a candidate for the position of the third vice president representing professional clubs to the FUFA Executive Committee”
And although the Electoral College for electing the FUFA VP for professional leagues is made up of the 14 FBL Clubs and 16 UPL Clubs, the FBL Clubs do not have the privilege to nominate one.
Football followers are not only concerned but confused over the same.
“With the high rate of this ‘unopposed trend’ currently at FUFA, I’m not sure if actual elections are even conducted,” Ambrose Kabuye, a life-long Villa fan wondered.
“Or maybe Ugandans are just not interested in football governance anymore? Because it is unthinkable for such big offices to have candidates go unopposed in the same institution for over 30 positions.”
Wishing the victors good luck, Kabuye remains unimpressed and expresses that something is surely not adding up.
The last time (2016), Nakiwala was voted into a FUFA office, she was the chairperson of Express FC, unlike now where her exact position on the Wankulukuku outfit is uncertain.
Unlike Kabuye, Martin Kaddu, a local sports journalist is of the view that Nakiwala could be technically so helpful to the clubs, then what the fans are physically exposed to.
“By Nakiwala returning unopposed, it shows that her works are much appreciated by UPL clubs. Maybe these clubs know what we do not know from the outside,” Kaddu added, congratulating the minister upon her election.
Fifi ‘Pinky’ Namiiro, a prominent Sports journalist and boon companion to Nakiwala doesn’t agree with Kaddu, she is disgusted with her friend’s ‘selection’ to such a high-ranking FUFA seat.
“I can’t deny she (Nakiwala) is a friend, but If UPL clubs cannot protest her election, then let them go to hell. How do you allow to just be used like condoms,” Namiiro ranted.
Veteran sports journalist, Reuben Luyombo believes the blame should be shifted to clubs that are allowed to be participants in the “sham” election.
Mentioning Express, Villa, KCCA, and URA, Luyombo said that the big clubs are the biggest sellouts.
“Those cowards do not have the ‘balls to say no to what is wrong. As if they don’t know their strength as the biggest stakeholders,” the journalist expressed with disappointment.
Under FUFA Statutes, the FUFA Electoral code defines Nakiwala as eligible for the post she was elected to because there is a provision for any executive member of any of the 16 UPL clubs to be eligible to become FUFA vice president
Like FUFA requires, Nakiwala, 49, is neither younger than 30 years, nor older than 70, and has been a resident of Uganda for two years preceding the elections, and possesses more than an A-Level certificate.
Also, Nakiwala, fully backed by Kiwanuka Kiryowa as a must is supported by Express (UPL), and some other two members of FUFA from Big League, the eight regions, and the other from Special interest groups.