Members of Parliament on the committee on education and sports have today ordered the two factions in the Uganda Table Tennis Association – UTTA to hold reconciliation talks and report to parliament by end of October.
The committee chairperson, Jacob Opolot has instructed the National Council of Sports to oversee the reconciliation meetings between the UTTA chairperson Robert Jjagwe and the General secretary of the second faction Hillary Kimbugwe.
Opolot’s decision stems from Kimbugwe’s petition to parliament alleging that National Council of Sports -NCS is dealing with an illegal Table Tennis Association led by a one Robert Jjagwe and yet their association is the rightful one recognized by law.
The factions were created when NCS disbanded the JJagwe led executive committee in November 2015 and appointed an interim committee to run the affairs of the association. The interim committee was composed of Douglas Kayondo (President), Hillary Kimbugwe (General Secretary), Ronald Sserulyo (Vice President Technical), Monica Kisakye (Vice President Administration), Ketra Aguti( treasurer), Joseph Rukundo and Gerald Kirema, the publicity secretary.
However, Jjagwe sued NCS and Kimbugwe and his colleagues and that the High Court in Kampala ruled in his favour in 2016.
The court ruled that the NCS decision to disband the Jjagwe led committee was against the decision of the majority stakeholders and that the action by NCS to replace that committee with an interim committee was “tainted with illegality.” The court ruled that Jjagwe and his team was duly elected in August 2015 for a 2 year term that was renewable.
In October 2018, the High Court made another ruling stating that Kayondo and Kimbugwe were in contempt of court for continuing to call themselves the President and General Secretary of UTTA.
Kimbugwe’s team has also never handed over the certificate of recognition to either NCS or Jjagwe’s team. Now, the education committee has today asked Kimbugwe’s faction to hold talks with Jjagwe’s team with the aim of reconciling because their disputes are affecting the sports and related activities in Uganda.
However, Koboko MP, Margaret Baba Diri expressed fears that the factions will not reconcile and both are before the committee to help them resolve their differences or get a lasting solution for their disputes that began in 2015.
Opolot however is positive that the NCS will hold the meetings to ensure that the two factions reconcile for the sake of restoring sanity in the association.
Board member of the National Council of Sports, Haji Zubairi Galiwango told the committee that the council can revoke the certificate of recognition that Kimbugwe’s faction has refused to hand over to Jjagwe’s team.
However, Opolot asked that the Council should first oversee the reconciliation meetings between the factions because revoking the certificate could result in sponsors withdrawing support or even parliament refusing to appropriate funds to UTTA through National Council of Sports for the 2020/2021 financial year.
Meanwhile, Kimbugwe says that the meetings must resolve that fresh elections are held because Jjagwe’s team held elections in January 2017 without the participation of the Kayondo’s led camp.
But Jjagwe says that his committee was elected in 2017 for a four year term that ends in January 2021. Jjagwe says that his team however welcomes the move to reconcile the factions, but national council can still revoke the certificate and issue a new one.
However, Galiwango said the council will implement the committee’s directive and return on 31st October.
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