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May 29, 2024

Walukuba Promoted To The Rugby Premier League Amidst Cries From Kyambogo Rugby.

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Kyambogo Captain Chris Ham Otim runs through the Boks defence. Photo by: Nakitende Lillian

On the 17th  May, 2022, Kyambogo Rugby Club was denied a shot at Premiership rugby. Before the writer proceeds, please note that they do not have any hat in this fight. For context, here is part of the statement from the Uganda Rugby Union on that fateful day;

“The URU TC (Technical Committee) has reviewed the Tournament Director’s decision and further guides that BOKS will be allowed to compete in the championship to replace Kyambogo who finished runner up in the central region league and had been drafted in to replace Boks in the absence of the said documentation at that point. Boks will thus be the Central Region competitor at the 2022 Championship tournament,”

Excerpt from the statement issued by URU, signed by Mr. Oscar Olaro, VP Technical.

Having finished second in the Uganda Rugby Union Central League championship, behind a worthy Kampala Old Boys’ feeder team, the Boks, Kyambogo was on the road to the National Championship Play Off Games. Winning this final would mean an automatic promotion to the Nile Special Rugby Premier League, the top flight. But that wasn’t to be. Why? Most of us know the story by now.

The back and forth public statements, the threats to litigate, the actual litigation, the banter on and off the web, but worst of all, the embarrassment. Following yesterday morning’s communication from URU, I would like to retract the sentiment I express in the previous statement. We are devoid of shame!

Drawback Decision Making Persists

The writer isn’t privy to the decision making processes within the leadership of the URU and the clubs, but what is apparent are the abhorrent repercussions.

Boks elect to emancipate themselves from Kobs, a decision is made. URU allows them to proceed, but within the ambit of tournament manual and competition rules, another decision is made. Kyambogo objects to this and even runs to the courts of law, decisions keep flowing. And just yesterday, another decision was made, the mother of them all;

“BOKs has haw however informed the Technical Committee (TC) of its inability to comply with the requirements to compete in the NSRPL 2023 season within the stipulated time.

Owing to this, Walukuba Barbarians Rugby Club will be promoted to the NSRPL in the place of BOKs RFC. We wish both teams the best of the rest of the season and the next seasons.”

URU statement signed by Eng. Oscar Olaro, VP Technical.

Walukuba played and lost, to an opponent whose place in that final was marred by controversy and arbitrary decision making, then got rewarded for their efforts with a promotion to the top flight. Quite innocent, but laughable to say the least.

Would a Championship Play Off final between Walukuba and Kyambogo, cure the confusion? Does Boks get to just walk away? Does that call for an amendment of the rules and manuals? I wish I had the answers to all these questions and more.

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