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Uganda Premier League: Only Sound Leadership Will Lift SC Villa From Current Problems

Good leadership will save SC Villa from its current woes and restore its glory.

For the better part of first round of the 2018/2019 Uganda Premier League season, 16 time champions SC Villa will be under a caretaker committee that was appointed by FUFA to run the club following leadership wrangles that later saw the club President Ben Immanuel Misagga stepping down in July this year.

In his message to hundreds of thousands of fans of the club, Misagga urged that it would be illegal to continue operating beyond his term since club elections were postponed by the country’s football governing body. He went on and handed the club property, which included land titles and two buses, to FUFA.

Warning signs of bad things to hit the Jogoos had already been seen before his resignation through the massive exodus of players from the team. Team captain Bernard Muwanga, Vitalis Taabu, Godfrey Lwesibawa, and George Ssenkaaba, to name but a few left the club.

To add salt into injury, a week after Misagga’s resignation, StarTimes, the club’s main shirt sponsors, in a letter addressed to the club’s chief executive officer Ivan Kakembo, withdrew their five-year deal worth Ugshs 1.3 billion that was launched in November 2015.

The reasons behind all this are believed to be endless administrative and leadership wrangles as cited by sponsors and aborting of planned elections that were to be held on 14th July which were put on hold due to club ownership wrangles.

Startimes letter to the club administration read: “In the last football season 2017/18, the club had a very poor performance in terms of PR value that we are meant to get back as sponsors of the club as agreed upon in the contract. There was a lot of bad publicity in regard to match indiscipline and leadership wrangles which is affecting our brand.”

Earlier, FUFA intervened to put on hold SC Villa’s elections citing irregularities in the run to organizing such polls. In a statement that was signed by the FUFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Edgar Watson, the football body advised the 16-time Uganda Premier League champions to put in order their constitution, in particular, the statutes that would act as the right directional tool for the club.

At that time, various candidates including Missaga and Atwine Sostine had openly expressed interest in the seat, with another faction led by Denis Mbide declaring to hold a parallel election at Villa Park.

An interim six-man committee was placed by FUFA to run the affairs of the club in order to bring sanity and restructuring, with the main task being to organize elections in the next six months. However, a faction led by Missaga sent a letter to FUFA through Kikomeko, Kayiira and Co. Advocates seeking for redress.

The interesting address by the lawyers cited to FUFA pointed out that the earlier communication on halting elections was addressed to SC Villa and not SC Villa Jogoo who are the ‘right’ owners of the club, with SC Villa having been dissolved seven years ago.

“The appointment of the said Interim Committee comprising of the person named is illegal and therefore null and void, and the said committee has no legal basis and standing to determine and manage the affairs of our client (SC Villa Jogoo),” it reads in part.

The interim committee that is now in control of the club is chaired by former SC Villa player Eng. William Nkemba and has James Serebe as the CEO.  The others include Aaron Jaggwe (finance), Moses Matovu (technical), Jafer Ndawula (member) and Norbert Kazibwe (Secretary).

The Missaga faction claimed that the club had submitted their statutes to the FUFA CEO on July 21st, 2015 for verification and approval as required but the federation did not reply until the time of postponing the polls.

In their recommendations, they demanded that the Federation approves the statutes so that they can organize the elections soon because, in their opinion, the club has no management running the administrative body.

Looking back at history, officials who led SC Villa in the 80s and 90s were more dedicated and Jogoos subsequently enjoyed success locally and internationally.

Those were the days officials went into football administration to serve clubs, unlike today when some come in for personal gain.

The latest Misagga administration was shrouded in controversies that also affected the club’s performance in the league. The former president was known for his dictatorial tendencies as reflected in many of the hurried decision makings, inability to organize regular general assemblies as required by the constitution and cases of lack of accountability.

His four-year term’s troubles tenure saw Jogoos winning only one trophy – the Uganda Cup in 2015 and finished in the top three in the league.

Next Elections


The decisions of the interim committee will be crucial in Jogoos transition to a new era where scenes like those that were witnessed in 1993 should not be witnessed. In that year, the club split in two after its president at that time Patrick Edward Kawooya suffered a life-threatening stroke that partially paralyzed him making the club sink deep into troubles.

In fact many will remember that very year SC Villa was at its peak, it was the only bull in the Ugandan football kraal. The team represented Uganda at the 1993 Africa Club Championship (now CAF Champions League) but pulled out since Kawooya, who was the chief financier and motivator, suffered a stroke.

The Jogoos failed to honor the return fixture of a clash between them and Ivory Coast’s Asec Mimosas in September that year due to wrangles as Kawooya was not around due to sickness.

This generated debate and saw Kawooya being replaced in a general meeting that he declined to recognize, where Franco Mugabe was elected as the chair. This led to Kawooya establishing a parallel club, a situation that many may never want to see repeated in the club’s history.

It’s up to the fans to elect a new office in the next few months as under the guidance of the interim committee. The management that will be put in place should be comprised of people who are competent and effective in their service delivery.

Indeed, what fans will be expecting are new officials who will be committed to their duties. They must work hard together as a team to improve the activities of the club and realize just how important they are to this great club.

What is expected of the next office after elections?


The new leadership must put effect policies for running the club and adhere strictly to the same. In the 80s, the clubs leaders held regular meetings with branches and set the agenda for the club.

They played by the rules and regulations of the club.

The current situation is disheartening, but all is not lost. To start with, future club officials should declare their assets before and after leaving office, and should they fail to explain the source of any wealth they might have accumulated during their tenure, they should be investigated.

The former officials were committed to the long-term plan of the club, bringing in stars from football schools who had achieved success at lower division outfits.

These players needed little time to adjust. The array of talent Jogoos had at their disposal enabled the coaches to win matches. All this was attributed to the sound management of the club staff.

Critics though have long made the point in recent years that it is not the organization that Jogoos lacks but outstanding players of the past who boosted the confidence of the fans as we enjoyed reports from radio commentators Adrew Patrick Luwandagga, Mike Arereng among others.

Fans could throng stadiums to watch the big names of the national team on parade, but their efforts to support the club wholeheartedly were undermined by persistent squabbles over unpaid bonuses, inner rivalries, and fragile egos.

SC Villa used to beat other teams, including Express, quite easily. This is probably a reason why and now they are the most successful team, having won the league 16 times.

In future, the club should find people with integrity to execute its plans. The interim committee officials must also meet the expectations of the club’s fans.

Petty politics seems to have brought nothing but trouble to Uganda football administration right from the top.

With the likes of Paul Hasule among others having hung up their boots, SC Villa club bears all the characteristics of a big team struggling to come to terms with the heavy weight of unfulfilled expectations.

Today, the team is conspicuously short of stars, a stark contrast from its past triumphs when nay of its players would end up in Europe and not the Far East.

Few players in Uganda have Kasule’s qualities. He was a huge asset to SC Villa and the national team because he was a good fit, both as an attacking midfielder and as a midfielder. He was a fantastic ball juggler and had great passes as well.

Whoever will take over the club’s presidency must well know that he will inherit a team rife with deep polarization — an all-too-familiar phenomenon in Ugandan football.

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