Uganda: another rip-off

Sh200m C’wealth games funds go missing
Monday, 29th March, 2010 E-mail article Print article

By James Bakama

UGANDA Olympic Committee (UOC) lacks funds to prepare for the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and will rely on their marketing division to secure support from corporate firms and government.

It turns out that money –– $100,000 (sh200m) –– to prepare Uganda’s team to New Delhi was sent in 2006 but cannot be traced.

Treasurer Andrew Omalla shocked a UOC assembly on Saturday by revealing that the funds released by the Commonwealth Games secretariat in 2006 might have been misused before they came to office. Rogers Ddungu took over as UOC president from Maj. Gen. Francis Nyangweso in February, 2009.

“By 2008 the funds had run out,” said Omalla, adding that there was no accountability to show that they were put to their intended use – which is training a team to compete in Delhi in October. Omalla said the committee now has no option but to look elsewhere for funds.

Uganda intends to have representatives in athletics, boxing, table tennis, lawn tennis, basketball, rugby, swimming, tae-kwon-do, shooting, archery and badminton.

Host cities and the Commonwealth Games secretariat usually aid athletes from developing countries through their Olympic Committees.

Delegates in the Masaka assembly were also shocked by another report that revealed misuse of over a billion shillings.

According to a four-year audit commissioned by the Ddungu executive, there were also no supporting documents for these expenditures.

Omalla said in 2005 sh177m was received by UOC but sh133m was unaccounted for. In 2007 sh226m was unaccounted for, in 2008 sh690m was received but sh526 was unaccounted for while in 2009 sh105m was received but there were no receipts for sh15m.

Omalla noted that despite continuous reminders to make full accountability, the past executive had not cooperated.

“With your approval we could use the CID (to recover the money),” he told the assembly.

Meanwhile, Norman Katende adds that UOC’s Ddungu has been given a green light to contest for the Associations of National Olympic Committees in Africa (ANOCA) Zone V presidency. The continental body cancelled earlier elections held in November.
The body also advised the Zonal president, Sudanese Mohamed Halim not to travel to Cairo for the ANOCA executive board meeting due April 1-4.

The action follows a petition by Olympic chiefs from Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda over the way the zonal elections were conducted.

A letter signed by ANOCA chairman Lassana Palenfo of March 20, said that the numerous petitions and questions raised after Mohamed’s election found a need for a repeat of the process after ANOCA’s “careful thought, extensive soul searching and broad based consultations.

“In true Olympic spirit which upholds fairness, … the election process be reviewed and fresh elections conducted,” Palenfo partly wrote.