New Vision (Kampala)
7 September 2008
Posted to the web 8 September 2008
ONE of the things that President Yoweri Museveni's government can be commended for is freedom of expression. But even with such liberty abounding, there are sections of this society where liberal talk is still more of a dream.
Uganda Olympic Committee is one of these. UOC is to the contrary supposed to be one of those liberal institutions where ideas from whatever side of the committee's hierarchy are a common currency.
UOC members however live in fear of antagonising the committee's bosses. Firstly, there's the fear of losing the numerous trips . There's also fright of losing association funding.
"I am against the leadership, but I can't openly stand up to challenge the committee because that could in future cost me an executive post," one former athlete confessed.
Yet another official was more bold telling me that there is more to the "humble boy" stance that members of the committee have chosen to take.
"Some of these people are too powerful that they can deal with you," he warned me as I followed up what would have elsewhere been a basic investigative story.
This official who had thrice changed the venue of our meeting insisting that it was for his "safety" was however cagey when asked what exactly being "dealt with" meant.
"To some of these people the committee means their life, so you had better be careful."
As he gave me an insight into UOC, he on some occasions sat up stiff because of what he described as suspicious people eaves dropping on our conversation.
Days later I read a commentary by one of my colleagues Joseph Kabuleta that I suppose could be a clue on what the UOC man meant.
Kabuleta wrote that after one of his stinging pieces on UOC, he found the break linings of his car cut and his windscreen shattered.
If there was indeed ever any link between what happened to Kabuleta and his column, then this stuff is certainly no longer sports. It all sounds like Russian roulette.
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