KAMPALA- Next month, Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasiira will celebrate two years at the helm of Uganda Cricket Association (UCA).
But the elective UCA General Assembly set for Kati Kati Restaurant at Lugogo on Saturday won’t let him party that.
Or, well, he could celebrate it infact then. Ansasiira has offered to stand again for the top seat for the body that runs the gentleman’s game in the country.
“It is not about stepping down,” Ansasiira began in a long telephone interview with Daily Monitor yesterday.
“It is being tactical and trying to prove that our brains are working. Cricket is a brain war,” the 41-year-old remarked.
His statements seem to send a direct message down the spine of his rivals, rather one, in what is already a more heated race to the ballot.
Following the January 12 deadline, Ansasiira from Nile Cricket Club will face-off with Tornado Cricket Club stalwart Paul Nsibuka in the race like that of 2017.
Two years ago, Ansasiira beat former Cricket Cranes’ captain Nsibuka to take the chair from predecessor Richard Mwami after winning 9-7 in a 16-vote electoral college formed by the eight voting clubs. KICC’s Mukesh Shukla did not even vote himself.
But why should Ansasiira return anyway? “There is no way I can only serve for two years. My plan was to first implement my plans,” he began to narrate.
“When I got in office,” he stated, “All money was coming from ICC and there was no money from government or corporates.
“I set a platform or foundation where we would commercialise the game and now have partners like Unimoni and Endiro Coffee. They saw value and could grow with cricket.
What else? “Despite the ups and down, we developed international relations with India, Qatar as well as Oman and the national teams were exposed and performed where we could,” he would say, declining to speak about the failed mission at the ICC World Cricket League Division Three in Oman two months ago.
“I also promised to be transparent and I gave the only man standing against me (Nsibuka) the position of finance at UCA. We opened the cricket doors and opened to the external world. There is a lot of good will out there.”
Ansasiira now looks at fulfilling the eternal promise to cricket: a home. “To be honest, I underestimated the level of debt that office had when I came in.”
This paper understands UCA had accumulated debts in about Shs102m with Uganda Revenue Authority as well as a land loan (bought in a wetland by Mwami reign) of Shs720m.
“We were able to clear both loans last year and now are looking for land to build and develop a home for Uganda’s cricket. This is a project my team is set to see through this year,” the telecom engineer said.
“I take total ownership failure of talent development. But there is a new young and vibrant team led by Davis Karashani chosen about five months that will have more work to do including strengthening cricket in traditional schools among other proper development pathways,” added Ansasiira.
UCA ELECTIVE ASSEMBLY
Date: January 26
Venue: Kati Kati Restaurant, Lugogo
Chairman: Bashir Ansasiira (Nile), Paul Nsibuka (Tornado)
Honorary Secretary: Michael Nuwagaba (Wanderers)
FORRMER UCA CHAIRMEN
Dr. Kato Sebbaale
UCA BOARD MEMBERS
Mary N. Makumbi
2017 ELECTION RESULTS
Bashir ‘Badu’ Ansasiira - 9
Nile (2), Premier (2), KICC (2), Tornado
Bee (2), Wanderers (1)
Paul Nsibuuka Luswata - 7
JACC (2), ACC (2), Tornado (2),
Mukesh Shukla: Null
Eric Kamara - 12
Wanderers (2), Premier (2), KICC (2), JACC
(2), ACC (2), Tornado (2)
Jeremy Kibuukamusoke - 4
Tornado Bee & Nile (4)