Rugby Africa elections: Why Kenya and Uganda are at war
By Eric Njiru | Wed 06 Feb, 2019 17:16

Kenya Rugby Union and Uganda may never do business again according to KRU chairman Richard Omwela may his Ugandan counterpart Andrew Owuor go ahead and vie for Rugby Afrique’s vice-presidency.

Rugby Afrique is set to head to elections from Feb 27 to March 2, 2019 in Marrakech with the gathering set for a pivotal moment in the evolution of Rugby Africa as it marks the end of President Abdelaziz Bougja’s term of office after 17 years of service to African rugby.

Omwela exclusively told Raga House that English speaking unions had planned to front one candidate, preferably him, for the position of Vice-Presidency but Uganda Rugby Union president Andrew Owuor has since fronted himself leaving many questions unanswered.

“Uganda have held this position before and it was agreed among us that this position should go to either Kenya, Zimbabwe or Namibia but we as Anglo-Africans feel Owuor’s move to vie as an insult.”

Omwela’s term as Kenya Rugby Union chairman will come to an end in March 2019 and speaking in January, he said he would be going for the vice-presidency of Rugby Africa.

He has been at the Ex-co for the last eight years as he argues Uganda’s Owuor hasn’t been part of it.

“If he(Owuor) decides to carry on then there will be no meaning of why we’ve been at the ExCo for the last eight years. All changes we’ve been trying to bring will have gone to nothing.”

“I will not even seek any other position if carries on. Kenya and Uganda will never be a thing again.”

Raga House understands that Tunisia’s Mr.Khaled has been proposed as the next Rugby Africa President with Andrew Owuor of Uganda  'secretly' accepting to deputize him, a thing that will not go well with Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

“If you look at how things are now, we are the second best Sevens team in Africa, second in U20s, best in Women and third in 15s rugby, added Omwela.

Under the secret proposal seen by Raga House, Omwela is being offered a committee position. A position he currently holds and has since said he is not interested.

If the deal goes through it will crudely, and rudely, shake up the smooth relationship between Kenya Rugby and Uganda Rugby which sees the organization of tournaments like Elgon Cup and Uganda’s players plying their trade in Nairobi and Western Kenya.

Natural order would to get Omwela head and represent the interests of English speaking African Unions owing to his seniority and experience with Owuor said to be a perfect fit for committee’s position.

Questions are also being asked why Aziz, who served as Rugby Africa president for 17 years, prefers the inexperienced Owuor and not Omwela who has led Kenya Rugby to where it is in 2019.

“We’ve written a letter protesting Owuor’s move. If he goes ahead this is not right. We are waiting for him to answer and see what he says.” concluded Omwela.

According to a press release sent by APO Group on Wednesday Feb 5, over 30 presidents from the different African rugby federations will attend the first Rugby Africa Summit bringing with them many illustrious names from the world of rugby and sport in general, to participate in three days of debates and exchanges and to celebrate African rugby.

"My successor will inherit a stable and professional organisational structure. We have set out clearly defined plans and priorities. One of them is to promote the participation of women in African rugby," the President of Rugby Africa Abdelaziz Bougja’s declared.

"To this end, we propose to nominate a minimum of two women to the Executive Committee, but I hope we will have more. I am looking forward to this summit, which will be a real celebration of African rugby, Africa, its culture and its diversity. I am also delighted to be able to hand over the torch in my native country, Morocco," added Bougja.

The General Assembly will be an opportunity to renew several trusty partnerships, reinforcing the links between Rugby Africa and the South African Rugby Federation (SARU) and the French Rugby Federation (FFR). It will conclude with the presentation of awards to the federations and the election of the new executive bureau of Rugby Africa.

Among the anticipated guests are Mr Mustapha Berraf, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, Mrs Nawel El Moutawakel of the International Olympic Committee, David Carrigy, Head of Development at World Rugby, Bernard Lapasset, former President of the International Rugby Board (IRB), and Bernard Laporte, President of the French Rugby Federation (FFR).

Eric Njiru
Award-winning, bold, independent Rugby Journalist and Radio Presenter in Kenya, Southern Hemisphere with experience in Match-Day Reporting, News and Interviews. Covering Kenya 7s around the World. Email: ericnjiru41@gmail.com +254726205521
Leave a comment