KAMPALA- A protracted period of a gruelling Fuba presidential campaigns comes to a halt today when basketball delegates meet to elect a new leader.
One of Grace Kwizera or Nasser Sserunjogi will assume office to replace Ambrose Tashobya, who is stepping down after 12 years as Fuba head.
The two rivals have worked hard to paint a picture of a civil contest between two differing ideologies but behind the scenes, there have been a lot of fiery, bare-knuckle exchanges from either side.
Kwizera is seen as favourite by observers having been an integral part of the City Oilers team, an organisation whose contribution to the growth of basketball can’t be emphasized enough.
How they have plotted
Sunday Monitor understands that a host of NBL clubs have committed to backing Kwizera, whom they believe has done a fine job with the NBA Junior League project. Sserunjogi has craftily concentrated his resources on the lower divisions which have more votes.
In fact the feeling inside basketball corridors is that the real contest for votes is in the lower leagues with Division One seen as a cast-iron Kwizera stronghold.
Sserunjogi, the KIU team manager, has promised to strengthen the grassroots level of basketball, which he believes is the future of the game. “We bring Americans and naturalise them; see, don’t get me wrong, it has helped us but I want us to start from down going up, not the other way round,” he said on Wednesday in an interview with Daily Monitor. “We shall focus on the U-14, U-16 and U-18s.”
Kwizera, meanwhile, has been succinct in his message; ‘more money in basketball is what we need’ he says.
Having engineered a Shs100m sponsorship from Uganda Breweries, the Investment Banker believes that more financial muscle at Fuba will allow the federation to tackle most of the other aspects of the game.
“We need money for our leagues and the national teams,” Kwizera argues.
In fact he is a self-confessed admirer of Fufa president Moses Magogo and how he has grown the soccer federation’s war chest.
The talking is all but over now. Today afternoon at the Uganda Olympic Committee offices where the elective Fuba AGM will be held, we shall know the direction where basketball is headed.
For the winner, the challenge will be how to unite a sport that has been polarised by an arduous election.