By ROBERT KAMUKAMA
KAMPALA, Uganda [SHIFTMEDIA] The war on corrupt Uganda officials seems to be taking a long toll. At least as per recent police arrests of Iron sheet ‘thieves’ and now the order for the National Council of Sports General Secretary to refund the shs100 million he had siphoned meant for Uganda Netball Federation (UNF).
The National Council of Sports (NCS) general secretary, Dr Bernard Patrick Ogwel has been ordered to pay Shs 100 million to the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) within seven days.
Ogwel and UNF president Sarah Babirye Kityo have been at loggerheads for the past months after Kityo accused Ogwel of asking for bribes whenever disbursing funds to facilitate the national netball team, She Cranes among other federation activities.
“Dr Ogwel Bernard Patrick, general secretary, National Council of Sports should refund a total of UGX 100,276,001 (comprised in UGX 29,719,800 paid to him for the Namibia tournament which was never spent/accounted for and UGX 70,556,211 the difference on the inflated 27 air tickets procured for the Namibia tournaments) to the Government Asset Recovery, account no. 003030088000007 held in Bank of Uganda,” reads part of the letter.
In a recent address to the media in Kampala, Kityo said the NCS boss has been repeatedly asking for kickbacks from their federation whenever funds are allocated to the She Cranes.
She cited their trip to South Africa in 2021 for the Male Netball Championship where Ogwel reportedly demanded Shs 40 million out of the Shs 100 million allocated.
Determined To Serve
Babirye, the former Youth Representative for Central region, was elected President of the Uganda Netball Federation after beating two other candidates, Joselyn Uchanda and Christine Nampijja during the elective general assembly held at the Lugogo indoor stadium.
Babirye collected 184 votes, while the national team She Cranes manager Joselyn Uchanda came second with 41 votes and Nampijja had only five votes.
Babirye said then that her major target would be to popularize the game of netball in the whole country. She made it clear that she will work with everyone including those she defeated in order to spread and develop netball.
More Officials Implicated
According to Kityo, although the federation’s top leadership agreed not to pay the kickback, UNF vice president, Richard Muhumuza, and general secretary, Amina Mande defied the resolution and paid Ogwel Shs 30 million which was meant for the players’ allowances.
Now in an April 14 letter, the deputy Inspector General of Government (IGG) Patricia Okiria Achan said that investigations have found that Ogwel received Shs 29.7 million for the Namibia tournament which was not spent nor accounted for, and Shs 70.5 million which was the difference between the inflated 27 air tickets procured for Namibia tournament.
The IGG further ordered that Muhummuza, the then vice president technical and Hajjat Nambusi Kibedi, the then treasurer collectively account for Shs 30 million which was never paid to the male players.
Kityo accused Ogwel of failing to provide any funding to the federation this financial year on grounds that they failed to account for funds they received in the previous financial year. This cost the team multiple international events, including participating in the World Cup qualifiers.
Ogwel also told journalists that UNF failed to account for the Shs 425 million they received in the financial year 2021/22 for the Africa Pent Series (which the She Cranes won) and the African Netball Championship, which prompted him to withhold additional funding.