Uganda/Kenya: Cranes Set for Date With Destiny

The Cranes of Uganda gave their AFCON hopes a huge boost despite being held to a barren draw by Kenya in a friendly on Tuesday at Kampala.

Uganda, a notable absentee from the final tournament of the showpiece continental championship since 1978, are just a win away from breaking that jinx as they face Comoros in a Group D Day 6 clash on Sunday, 4 September 2016 in Kampala.

Tied on 10 points with Burkina Faso, the maximum points will guarantee Uganda a place at the final tournament either as winner of the group or as one of the best runner-ups.

Leading the cranes to the promise land is Serbian trainer Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, who rates the Kenya friendly as a good step for his team ahead of the must win clash against Comoros, a side they defeated 1-0 at the latter’s backyard last September.

“We thank Kenya for answering our call to help us prepare for the great game on Sunday. It was a good match for us and now we have seen what we need to improve on. We have four training sessions and here we will work hard to be ready for Comoros,” Micho as the Serbian is fondly called told after the match.

It has been so near and yet so far for the Cranes the last couple of years missing out on qualification by whiskers. For the 2013 campaign, Uganda forced then holders Zambia to the wire after a Geoffrey Massa strike cancelled Christopher Katongo’s winner in the first leg before the Cranes bowed out 9-8 on penalties.

Prior to that, a barren draw on the last day against Uganda denied them a place in the 2012 edition co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea & Gabon, finishing on 11 points, one shy of Angola.

“We have learnt from the past mistakes and we are ready to make it to the big stage of Africa. It’s not a mistake we are here. We have gone in detail to make sure we leave no stone unturned for this game because it’s a game of ‘life and death’.

“For now, we hope these days will help us prepare intensively. We have the best players in Africa so far. I believe all of my players have performed well at their clubs especially goalkeeper Denis Onyango with CAF Champions League semi-finalists Mamelodi Sundown and he can lead us to where we want to go with such experience,” said Micho.

For the friendly, the Cranes started well with Godfrey Walusimbi who plays his club football with Kenyan champions Gor Mahia making a run on the left to slash in a cross from the left but his club team mate Erick ‘Ouma’ cleared the danger for a corner.

Victor Wanyama had Kenya’s first opportunity with his shot from 25 yards out going over whilst Uganda captain Geoffrey Massa had the best chance in the opening half with his well taken freekick from the edge of the box going inches wide in the 25th minute.

In the second half, Micho brought on five faces, Kizito Luwagga, Mawejje, Farouk Miya, Ochaya, and Geoffrey Sserunkuma coming on with Massa, Walusimbi, Okwi, Yunus Ssentamu and Nicholas Wadada all coming off.

In the 65th minute, Aucho was called into a goal line clearance after Ayub Timbe had beaten the Cranes keeper on the right having been fed through by Wanyama who overpowered Mawejje in midfield to steal the ball.

Three minutes later, Johannah was sent through by Jesse Were and as he strode into the box, he was brought down at the edge of the box by Murshid Juuko, but Timbe’s effort with the freekick went awfully over.

“It was a great game for us, we created more chances than our hosts and for me that is something positive. We need to work on being more clinical and using our chances and hopefully we do well against Zambia,” Stanley Okumbi, the Harambee Stars coach said.

Uganda squad

Goalkeepers: Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Salim Jamal Magoola (El Merreikh, Sudan), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA), Ismail Watenga (Vipers)

Defenders: Nicholas Wadada (Vipers), Joseph Nsubuga (SC Villa), Bevis Mugabi (Yoevil Town, England), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda , Murushid Jjuuko (Simba, Tanzania), Isaac Isinde (St George, Ethiopia), Timothy Denis Awanyi (KCCA), Rashid Toha (Onduparaka), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers), Joseph Benson Ochaya (KCCA), Godfrey ‘Jajja Walu’ Walusimbi (Gor Mahia, Kenya)

Midfielders: Khalid Aucho (Baroka, South Africa), Tonny Mawejje (KnattspyrnufelagiA A�rottur, Iceland), Geofrey ‘Baba’ Kizito (Than Qu?ng Ninh, Vietnam), Moses Oloya (Kuban Kransndor, Russia), Kezironi Kizito (Vipers), Ivan Ntege (KCCA), William Luwagga Kizito (Feirense, Portgual), Vincent Kayizzi Walugembe (KCCA), Abdulmalick Vitalis Tabu (Villa),

Forwards: Geofrey Massa (Baroka, South Africa), Farouk Miya (Standard Liege, Belgium), Yunus Sentamu (F.C Ilves, Finnland), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi, Geofrey Sserunkuma (KCCA), Edrisa Lubega (Proline), Muhammed Shaban (Onduparaka), Erisa Ssekisambu (Vipers)

Source: Confederation of African Football.

“Children’s emergency” at core of South Sudan refugee crisis

Around 1,000 South Sudanese are fleeing across the border into Uganda each day in what the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is describing as a “children’s emergency.”Since fighting between rival factions loyal to the President and former first Vice President …

UN Daily News

Listen to a bulletin of news and features from United Nations Radio, with Matthew Wells and Dianne Penn.In today’s programme: a “children’s emergency” is sending 1,000 refugees a day over the border from South Sudan into Uganda, amid “horrific stories”…


Uganda has been named the most favored country in Africa for expats to live in 2016.The country ranked 25th on a survey published by the Expat insider which scored countries on ease of settling, learning a local language, and family life.Uganda ranked …

Refugees at Tense Uganda Camp Share Plight with UN Official

At the Nyumanzi Transit Center in northern Uganda, refugees greet U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi with song and dance, as well as with tales of food shortages and poor living conditions. Grandi is on a tour of Uganda’s overcrowded refugee centers. Since violence began last July, nearly 90,000 South Sudanese have crossed into […]

African Film Industry Pros Learn From Hollywood

Nigerian actress Olajumoke Bello Aruwajoye had an “out-of-body” experience when she arrived in Hollywood. “It’s surreal, it’s amazing, it’s exciting for me because I never thought I would be here,” she said. Aruwajoye is one of a small handful of entertainment professionals from Africa who got a chance to come to Los Angeles for three […]


Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held talks with President Macky Sall of Senegal who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi. President Sall was among the over 30 Heads of State, Government delegations and more than 10,000 delegates who gathered in Nairobi for the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) that […]


The Chinese embassy has donated 200 Smart phones, 50 mattresses, 10 motorcycles, 5 laptops, 10 footballs among other things to the Uganda police. These donations were handed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura by the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zhao Yali at the police headquarters here. While receiving the items, Kayihura thanked […]


Nineteen of 32 Muslim clerics’ murder suspects recently charged with fresh charges of treason at Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court were committed to the High Court to face trial. The accused were sent to the High Court by Nakawa Grade One Magistrate Christine Nantege. This was after principle state attorneys Thomas Jatico, Rachael Bikhole and Marion […]

IGAD and Partners are Keeping an Eye on La Nina Effects on the Region

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction & Applications Centre (ICPAC) this morning kick started the 44th Greater Horn of African Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF) during an opening ceremony presided over by the Minister of Environment of Uganda, Hon. Dr. Mary Goretti Kitutu, in Kampala.   The opening ceremony was also attended by the […]

Car bomb kills 5 soldiers outside Somali president’s palace: police

A car bomb claimed by al Shabaab Islamist militants killed five soldiers outside the president’s palace in the Somali capital of Mogadishu and badly damaged two nearby hotels, police said.     Reuters witnesses said gunfire could be heard after the explosion and a huge cloud of smoke could be seen above the president’s palace, […]

IGAD Consultative Meetings on the Development of Regional Strategy on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is in the process of developing a Regional Strategy on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and financial contribution from the Government of Japan. The strategy will be developed within the framework of supporting the operationalization and development of the Horn […]