We start from your first 100 days plan. Can you pull it off?
On finance; I should find it feasible to give clubs quarterly financial reports especially those that do not sit on the board. At the assembly, we were assigned to appoint a new auditor. Vetting of firms is on with a possible replacement by end of March.
For the men’s national team, appointment of the selectors’ panel is in progress. I met players and issues arising were; paying allowances on time, availability of good equipment and ensuring proper communication channels with the board, if ignored they can escalate into big problems.
It is about 70 days to the tournament. What are the preparation plans?
Since we are hosting, it doesn’t make sense for us to travel because we do not have to acclimatise to any conditions. But we are in talks with Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kenya and Qatar to see if they can be hosted for a build-up tour.
I appointed Jeremy Kibuukamusoke a board member to deal directly with the national team and make sure they have all the support they need. We have already appointed one of the board members Paul Kaheru to head the ICC World Cricket League Division III organizing committee. He is knowledgeable in this area and we will pull it.
On women’s cricket, how do we get the coach to work without interference?
We mainly want to have a development coach who can work with the U19s and the women’s national team. Frank Otieno has already been appointed.
The issue of attaching women to men’s clubs, which my predecessor started, was a very big plus.
But to answer, we have given a chance to the women’s representative on the board to select a committee to work on their issues.
My working style is that I must understand the people I work with; players, secretariat, board members, coaches. I have met clubs to know what their views about our cricket are. They ask about the Kawuku land project and arrears.
So what do you tell them?
Development is also one of the songs for everyone but we want value for money. We must support initiatives like what Ivan Thawithemwira and Felix Musana have done in Western and Eastern Uganda respectively. I will not tag figures to this but we have a development manager who is paid well, is passionate but he must share his ideas with the board and how he wants us to implement them.
Keeping with my plans for the first 100 days, we immediately started on the conditioning of grounds; Kyambogo, Lugogo and Entebbe in preparation for the World Cricket League. However, there is a challenge because machines; grass cutters, rollers bought during Dr Ssebbale’s time have served their time and broken down.
We should be able to acquire others even if it means getting some manageable credit. In the mid-term, we can reduce costs we are incurring on groundwork.
We also had issues with Kyambogo ground. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) we have with Kyambogo is open but they insist they want to benefit from us using their ground which is understandable from the landlord point of view.
We hope by WCL time, we have an agreement. For Entebbe, we just need a longer term relationship with these guys and we must have better nets for Lugogo.
Some clubs are purchasing land. Are you pushing the same for member clubs because it is a requirement to become a full member?
Okay, there is being realistic and also being political. You cannot be pushing Nile out because it has no land but we have to work closely with the clubs owning land and planning to construct grounds to establish a working agreement.
But I have set up a land committee because we want to have a home for cricket. However, we don’t want the board to run this. We shall facilitate a committee that will give us advice.
Eng. William Kibuukamusoke has accepted to chair this committee and will look for other three people to work with. Mr. Shukla Mukesh is a consultant on this.
Tell us about Kawuku. We know the place is inhabitable. We understand you need to inject about Shs700m after paying the $48,000 debt to have cricket grounds there.
Playing cricket in Kawuku is not possible this year. The project needs money that the board and secretariat can’t spare or afford right now. At that expense, it means you can get another place and make it playable.
The water is too much but we shall wait for the Land committee’s report on that; I must stress that in these two years, we should be able to have our own home.
Are you in position to tell when money comes in from ICC? We understand it is $647,000 and grows to about $750,000 (Shs3.3b). But the association does not get $ 750,000.
Sometimes I don’t quote figures because you are bound to make mistakes.
That amount includes a parachute funding that can only come if we perform; that figure also includes some sponsorship in kind and not necessarily cash, but all support to UCA is greatly appreciated and will be fully utilized for the improvement of the game. We have debts but we are in control of the financial situation.
We are in the final stages of setting up a promotions and sponsorship committee. This team will work hand in hand with the media. The CEO must work with this team to make a way for this.
How has the transition been from vice chairman?
Frankly, I did not exploit my leadership talent as vice chairman. 99.99% of the time, the chairman made the final decisions. I was in a ceremonial position except when called upon to give a view as a board member. I now want board members to own every decision we make.
Some elders said you jumped the queue. What is your take?
With all humility and due respect to them, I worked in several positions and companies. I was a team manager for several junior national teams for years.
And by the way who voted for me? It was the elders like Sam Walusimbi, Eng. Kibuukamusoke, Mukesh and others. I started this campaign seven years ago but I was told there was a queue.
So I respected the decision but I was underestimated.
As the election drew closer, some people even said that my club would not vote for me; but in Aesop’s fable we know how the tortoise won the race against the speedy hare. I will show what my committees can do. Doubters will now know me better.
There was even belief that if I stepped in office, CEO Justine (Ligyalingi) would be no more. I have no issues with Justine. But there are pressures from outside based on non-performance and we have to establish the root cause and manage the situation professionally because this is a public office.
He says he leaves when his term ends. Will you talk him into staying?
That is his stand, we respect it. He has served. We will advertise his job at the right time. Our fraternity is gifted with many capable people.
Respect you all.