Sex scandal: Inactivity by authorities only increases conspiracy theories

Kampala.

Can’t something tangible be done by the relevant authorities? It is frustratingly disheartening that two weeks on since the Daily Monitor broke the story of female athletes being allegedly sexually and physically abused by a national team and police coach, the matter has been taken as lightly as a soft tissue by the responsible authorities.

For those not yet enlightened, during a one-month training camp for the March 16 Africa Cross-country Championships in Bukwo, some female runners on the national team complained that a male national coach sexually and physically abused them and threatened to drop them from the team if they turned down his sexual aances. These are grave allegations that needn’t be treated casually.

Barring Kapchorwa LC5 chairman Sam Cheptoris’ commendable step of ruling that the said coach be banned from the district athletics activities, the Police and Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) have remained as indifferent as the sad tale itself.The Education and Sports minister Jessica Alupo recently told me she had asked her commissioners to provide her with a report before she comes out.

That displayed lack of interest in such a sensitive matter is only working against the said victims, the said coach, UAF and police as silence will only increase more conspiracy theories.For example, UAF – in a rather positive but rhetoric step – said last Friday that they would institute a committee of 3-5 persons sometime this week to investigate the matter and come out with a report within two weeks. But why not ask the said coach to step aside as you carry out investigations? Is he that special you cannot do without him?

ing pong We have also ascertained that the coach in question is in charge of Police Athletics Club. Could this explain the ping pong between the victim athletes and the Force since the saga came to public domain?

Just to remind you, the athletes first tried to seek legal redress by reporting at Kampala Police Station (CPS) two weeks ago but left without recording a statement, claiming they were made to wait for too long. Not even a change of direction to Makerere University Police Post would register progress. Robert Chelimo, the post OC CID said at the time. “There was a strike at the university which we were trying to quell. The runners called me and said they had an issue to discuss with me but I couldn’t meet them. I got some time in the evening but they had left. They were impatient and wanted to travel back to Kapchorwa.”

The runners then held a meeting with Kapchorwa DPC Patrick Odokonyero and other district leaders on March 20. But according to Odokonyero, since most of these athletes are from the Police Force, there are better channels of addressing their complaints.

Although Odokonyero on Tuesday told us there was an ongoing investigation, he denied ever receiving a letter from UAF asking for Police intervention as the athletics body president Dominic Otucet claimed last Friday.

That aside, the runners on January 21 wrote a letter, which was copied to Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Sorowen, among other authorities registering their grievances.But the chronology of responses from UAF and Police only exhibit an air of suspicion. One cannot help but factor in that the said coach being an employee of both UAF and police is frustrating any means directed at delivering justice.

The said authorities should know that this is a matter that cannot be easily swept under the carpet. They should act now.

OSITIVE MOVE BY UCA ON COACHINGAfter the recent gone-bad attempt by Cricket Cranes at making the Division II at the ICC World Cup qualifiers, Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) and the team had their wily tails between their legs.

They not only failed to move a division better but catastrophically failed to win any match in New Zealand.One of the crimes UCA were rightly accused of was investing almost every available penny on the national team at the expense of grassroots development of the game, cue in schools cricket.So it was only in order that after the failed campaign and the eventual disbandment of the men’s national team, UCA opened their eyes to development again.

At a time the national team is inactive since they have no international engagements, it was only wisely thought of by the local cricket body to involve national team members in their 2014 coaches development support programme.Several national team players are lined up for engagements with schools in Western, Central, Eastern and Northern Uganda and will be visiting them to conduct coaching clinics, starting with the central region.

Some of the national team players involved include Roger Mukasa, Arthur Kyobe (pictured), Deus Muhumuza, Frank Nsubuga and Lawrence Sematimba among others. That the players will earn something from the programme while impacting skills on young cricketers is a plus.

Varsity leagues should serve purposeDaily Monitor reported on Wednesday that Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) were set to start a T20 University Cricket League.

If inaugurated, hopefully this year, cricket will join football and basketball to have started higher institutions of learning leagues.

It goes without saying that apart from creating a gradual transition from youth to senior, these new developments are also attracted by the allure of minting money from sponsors in the long run. That is not to suggest making money is evil. My concern, though, is on the primary intentions of these leagues, which for me should be talent development.

Organisers of these leagues should be clear on who plays in them. Having a strong UCU basketball team that plays in the national league torturing everyone in the university league, for example, hardly serves the development program. The University Football League (UFL) have already barred topflight players from featuring. Cricket and basketball canshould borrow leaf or do something along age lines.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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