Posts tagged as: cecafa

Kenya to Host 2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup

By Alex Isaboke

Nairobi — After a two- year absence, the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) is back with Kenya handed the 2017 hosting rights.

At an executive committee meeting held in Khartoum, Sudan the members expressed solidarity with Kenya over the failure to host the fifth African Nations Championships (CHAN) in January 2018.

The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, which brings together all the national teams of the 13 member countries will be held in November and December 2017.

Uganda are the current champions having won a record 14th title in Addis Ababa in December 2015 after beating Rwanda 1-0 in the final.

The meeting also endorsed Burundi and Rwanda to host the CECAFA Under-17 and second Women’s championships respectively in November and December.

Ethiopia is the last nation to host the tournament.


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Kenya Fall Six Places in Latest FIFA Rankings

By Timothy Olobulu

Nairobi — National football team Harambee Stars has dropped six places in the latest FIFA rankings released Thursday morning, moving to 88th from 82nd with 400 points.

Between August and September, Kenya played one friendly match away to Mozambique, coming from behind to draw 1-1 thanks to Eric Johanna’s late goal.

In the CECAFA region, Uganda remains the best placed country having moved two places up, much buoyed by their victory over Egypt in a World Cup Qualifier at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Kampala, though they lost the return leg in Alexandria.

Rwanda have moved one spot up to 118th while Tanzania has dropped down five places to rank at 125th. Sudan has moved a massive 18 spots up to rank at 124th while neighbors Ethiopia, who are Kenya’s opponents in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, have dipped 24 places to 114th.

Cape Verde is the biggest mover in the ranking after their victory over South Africa scaled them 47 places up to 67th. Alongside Sudan, Zambia who beat Algeria home and away in the World Cup qualifiers are also some of the biggest African movers having climbed 18 places up to 78th.

African Cup of Nations runners-up Egypt remain the best ranked African country despite going down five places to 30th while Tunisia has moved three places up to 31st, displacing Senegal as the second best African country.

Overall, World Cup and Confederations Cup champions Germany have dislodged Brazil from the top spot, the two swapping places at first and second in the ranking.

European champions Portugal have moved into the top three having gained three places.


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Rwanda Set to Host CECAFA Women’s Challenge Cup

Rwanda will host this year’s Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Women’s Challenge Cup in November, Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) president, Vincent Nzamwita, has announced.

“After a meeting held in Kenya last weekend, CECAFA also gave Kenya the go ahead to host the Men’s Senior Challenge Cup. We had a meeting with other football heads in the region,” he added.

However, Nzamwita said a final confirmation will be reached after consultation with the Ministry of Sports and Culture.

Meanwhile, Burundi is also expected to the CECAFA U-17 Championship next year after an eight-year hiatus.

In the last two years, CECAFA made up of countries from Central and East Africa has failed to organize its two main annual competitions, the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup and the CECAFA Club Championship.

The members include Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar.


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Trial Against Rwandan Terror Suspects to Be Heard in Camera

Photo: Cyril Ndegeya/The East African

Some of the suspects accused of terrorism at the High Court of Rwanda in Kigali.

By Robert Mbaraga

The trial of the 44 Rwandans accused of having links with the terror group Al Shabaab and the Islamic State will be heard on May 2 in camera, a court in Kigali has ruled.

The special chamber of the High Court of Rwanda that tries international crimes upheld the prosecution’s plea that an open hearing would compromise national security.

In its plea, the prosecution raised fear that a public hearing would lead to more radicalisation and cause clashes among the families of the accused because “some of the accused were apprehended because of information provided by their fellow suspects.”

The defence lawyers had insisted that the prosecution explains what it meant by national security, arguing that all persons connected to this dossier have been arrested and detained and cannot thus cause any security threat.

On their part, the accused said that only a public hearing would be fair.

“All our pre-trial hearings were conducted in camera, and our families have never had a chance to know the details of our charges. Our trial in merit should be heard in public and this will help our brothers avoid what we are charged with,” one of the accused told the court.

The accused said that they would appeal against this ruling.

The Rwandan criminal procedure law allows the court to order that a case be heard in camera “when its public hearing may be detrimental to public order or good morals.” The same law does not, however, define public order or good morals.

The court set the next hearing for May 2. This date could, however, be affected by the appeal filed by the accused.

The three-judge bench also ordered that the case be disjoined for minors and be heard by a specialised chamber.

Four of the 44 are below 18. Their trial will now be heard by the Gasabo Intermediate Court.

The ruling on the two main objections which had paralysed the trial for almost two months, now raises hope that the fate of the 44 terror suspects will finally be known.

They have been in detention for more than a year.

The details about the charges brought against them have not been made public, but their indictments indicate that they are charged with complicity in a terrorist act, membership to a terrorist organisation, formation of a criminal gang, formation of an irregular armed group and conspiracy and incitement to commit terrorism.


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Uganda: Islamic Banking Faces Tax Hurdles in Uganda

By Bernard Busuulwa

Issues of taxation, manpower and marketing have hampered the rollout of Islamic banking products in Uganda, as technocrats struggle to finalise regulations for the new products.

While regulations to guide the use of agency banking have been finalised and are scheduled for issuance after April 19, issues surrounding taxation of Islamic banking products remain unresolved.

Under Islamic banking rules, no interest is charged on loans to borrowers; profits and losses realised from a business are shared equally between lenders and borrowers, and lending is restricted to morally acceptable ventures: Lending to alcohol firms, tobacco producers and gambling companies is prohibited.

Concerns over how much tax should be applied to Islamic financial products and the elimination of double taxation have slowed consultations on the matter.

For example, a mortgage transaction arranged between a bank and a client under Islamic banking would require the two parties to make equity contributions towards the deal without charging the home buyer any interest.

The client would instead be obliged to buy out the bank’s equity share in order to achieve full ownership of the house or piece of land in question. Recent proposals in favour of taxing the banks’ contribution have raised questions about the competitiveness of Islamic banking products when compared with conventional financial offerings.

In contrast, mainstream mortgage products require clients to make reasonable equity contributions towards the purchase of real estate, disbursement of a bridging loan facility by a commercial bank, and repayments that carry annual interest charges. Withholding tax is levied on interest earned from the mortgage, while the value of the loan is exempt from taxes.

A shortage of specialised Islamic banking professionals has also slowed down the rollout of Islamic financial products. Due to the sensitive nature of Islamic banking operations, use of qualified Shariah professionals is considered essential in regulation, selling and distribution of financial services.

However, according to research data, there are only 10 qualified Shariah professionals on the local market.

This is in a business environment with 24 commercial banks and a small pipeline of specialised Islamic banking players who have shown interest in the market but are yet to obtain commercial licences.

“Taxation of Islamic banking transactions seems complex because it is difficult to determine the exact point of taxation, and also minimise the risk of double taxation. But the UK has already come up with useful tax guidelines that define the degree of taxation for Islamic banking transactions, involving both physical assets and direct cash, which would be compatible with our environment. The human resource gap experienced among local Shariah professionals in Uganda could be filled by foreign manpower previously nurtured by big banks like Standard Chartered, Barclays and KCB in their native markets. In addition, there are overseas players in big Shariah markets like Malaysia that are capable of providing outsourced compliance services for Shariah boards,” said Abubaker Mayanja, the managing director of ABL Dunamis Ltd, a financial advisory services firm.


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Kwibuka23 – PSF Remembers Slain Businesspersons in Kirehe

By Kelly Rwamapera

Private Sector Federation (PSF) members in Kirehe District remembered fellow businesspersons who were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in the district.

The ceremony was held on Wednesday at Nyakarambi Genocide Memorial in Nyakarambi Town, where more than 350 Tutsi business people were massacred. Some were later buried at the memorial which is now home to more than 9800 Genocide victims.

MP Berthe Mujawamariya cautioned residents of Kirehe against genocide ideology and asked Genocide perpetrators and those who witnessed the killings to reveal what they know as part of the healing process.

Jean Munyaburame, a Genocide survivor, was a businessman in Nyakarambi by the time of the Genocide.

Munyaburame recounted how most Tutsi could sense the danger ahead but had nothing to do.

“It was very difficult for a Tutsi to get a bank loan or passport and local authorities were closely working with banks to monitor us. They claimed that we were wasting the country’s money to help Tutsi refugees outside the country,” he stated.

He added that “a Tutsi who prospered in business could be implicated in trumped-up charges such that they could be arrested and their businesses fold.”

He said that Hutu businessmen in Nyakarambi aided Interahamwe militias by providing machetes and pickups to transport the killers.

The Human Resource Manager at PSF-Kirehe, Felix Mutagoma, called upon private sector to actively engage in building the country as opposed to the businesspersons who helped destroy the country.

“You have a country, it means you have everything. Meet you tax obligations, support Genocide survivors and do not let genocide ideology creep into your families,” he said.

As part of the commemoration ceremony, PSF donated a house to the family of John Shingiro, a genocide survivor in Kirehe.

PSF also gave six cows to six survivor families and 25 mattresses to other survivor families.


East Africa’s Cecafa Moot Joint Afcon Bid

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Waka Warrior Obstacle Race to Attract Regional Participants

Photo: The New Times

Participants during the first Waka Fitness race last year (file photo).

By Sharon Kantengwa

Team work, fire, ice, barbed wire and many more obstacles are what defined last year’s Waka Warrior fitness challenge that tested the creativity, persistence and flexibility of the contestants.

This year, the challenge is back, with organisers of the challenge Waka Fitness Ltd promising a bigger event. The obstacle course is going to be bigger, longer and more challenging.

On May 13 2017, all roads will lead to the Masaka Farms, this time with participants from all over East Africa who will be battling it out to see who the best warrior will be.

“This year we would like to have it bigger and more exciting, at the same time promoting a healthy lifestyle. We are looking to have people from the East African Region take part as well, and we are partnering with RwandAir who will be offering discounts for people flying in for the Waka Warrior Obstacle Race 2017,” says Alexia Uwera Mupende, the Customer Service, Sales and Marketing Manager at the Kimihurura-based Waka Fitness Ltd, the organisers of the event.

However, only adults, 18 years old and above, will be allowed to participate in the obstacle course, although 15 year olds will also be allowed to join the obstacle with permission from their parents who will be required to sign a waiver.

A mini kid’s obstacle will also be in place, “so they too can be part of the day and enjoy while their parents compete.”

In addition, entertainment and food vendors will also be at the event to serve a variety of meals and drinks to the hungry participants and spectators at the event. Winners will get an assortment of prizes.

Organisers from Waka Fitness Ltd hope to attract participants from all over Africa and the rest of the world.


East Africa’s Cecafa Moot Joint Afcon Bid

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Fighting Corruption Is Complex – Inspector General of Govt

By Francis Mugerwa

Kyankwanzi — The Inspector General of Government, Justice Irene Mulyagonja, says fighting corruption in Uganda has become complex since new tricks are being applied to embezzle government funds.

“The war against corruption is becoming complex because more corruption syndicates are being created every other day,” Justice Mulyagonja said at the weekend while passing out 79 Inspectorate of Government officials who had completed a two-week course on leadership and skills development at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi.

The IGG said that Uganda loses hundreds of billions annually in corruption and sadly, this is money meant to deliver services and lift millions of Ugandans out of poverty.


“The corrupt cartels are uncomfortable with anti-corruption officers who they view as saboteurs and can endanger their lives,” Justice Mulyagonja said, adding that it is not possible to steal public funds without colluding with various other actors who initiate and endorse payment requests.

The IGG advised the officials to be disciplined and committed to their work.

“Love your country and do the right thing with humility and obedience. Those virtues will take you before kings,” she said.

The director of the National Leadership Institute, Brig David Kasula Kyomukama, said the 79 officials underwent foot and self defence drills, gun handling, leadership skills development and shooting range exercises.

Train others

“We enhanced your leadership skills, taught you basic military skills, financial literacy and you should be agents of social-economic transformation,” Mr Kyomukama said.

He advised the officers to pass on the skills and knowledge they have attained during the training to their workmates.

“Every end is the beginning. Do not stop learning and teaching. Be humble and hardworking. Understand the world through learning about the cause of events,” he advised.


East Africa’s Cecafa Moot Joint Afcon Bid

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Uganda’s Ssegwanga: The Lion of Cecafa

Photo: Ismail Kezaala /Daily Monitor

Gone to soon. Mzee Musisi co founded regional soccer governing body, Cecafa.

By Douglas Nsubuga

Kampala — The only surviving founder member of Express Football Club, mentor of Nakivubo Boys and forerunner of Sports Club Villa, Mzeei Kezekia Musisi Ssegwanga passed on over the weekend at Kiluddu hospital aged 92 after a long illness.

Musisi has left behind an incredible ink of an illustrious sports administrator both at national and international levels especially in football circles although he may not have kicked even an orange.

He started public life in the 50s as a youth actively involved in the politics of the day. He was identified as an ideal mobiliser of supporters of a football club project and a brain-child of politicians who owned Express newspaper that agitated for independence from colonialists.

The master-mind behind Express Football Club was Joseph “Jolly Joe” Kiwanuka, an out-spoken politician, qualified referee and self-made coach who also doubled as Express newspaper editor.

Another known founder member of Express FC was Dr Kununka. In the background were politicians such as John Kalekezi, father of police chief Gen. Kale Kayihura who solicited for finances to kick-start the project.

Express FC arrived on the Ugandan soccer scene with a bang, with Musisi doing a wonderful job of mobilising supporters who enjoyed entertaining football by stars such as Charles Jjagwe, Ali Kitonsa, Jimmy Ssemugabi, Jimmy Sewava “Omulogo” (the soccer witch), John Kaddu, Ali Kigundu to mention but a few.

Musisi was Jolly Joe’s right hand man on matters pertaining to the smooth running of Express FC and learned dynamics of being a good football manager in the process because the club now commanded a big following. Together with Kenya’s Abaluhya (AFC Leopards), Tanzania’s Young Africans, they formed the famous AYE (Abaluhya, Young, Express) club which was the envy of East Africa’s football. Mzeei Musisi also became patron of Nakivubo boys club which was the De facto nursery of Express FC.

Kiwanuka was murdered in 1972. Then, Express FC almost collapsed and was on the brink of relegation from the Super Division. But as providence would have it, Musisi was appointed chairman of the soccer governing body, Fufa and somehow, made sure that the 1973 National Football league did not end in order to save Express FC from relegation.

Musisi at the helm of Uganda football helped revamp Express FC and from relegation scare, the team won the league title for the first time in 1974. Earlier on in 1973, Musisi was among those that founded the Confederation of East and Centrla African Football Associations which organised the inaugural Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Kampala that year.

He was later named Cecafa life member. Africa’s football governing body CAF too respected him and at one time delegated him to stabilize Kenya’s football which had been ripped apart along tribal lines, a job he did so well.

Musisi was relinquished of his duties as Fufa boss in 1975 and two years later, the then Governor of Central province and self-styled sports disciplinary officer Abdul Nasur banned Express FC on allegations of sabotaging Idi Amin’s government. Musisi influenced the Express FC fraternity to support Nakivubo Boys Club in their quest for promotion to the super division of the National Football League.

Selfless man

Express FC was reinstated in 1979 after the fall of Idi Amin, the same year Nakivubo Boys club joined the super division ranks before it was christened Sports Club Villa.

Musisi was a selfless man. He spent many hours shuttling between Kampala and Jinja to help streamline the administration and recruit playing staff of Nile Football Club which in 1980 became the first upcountry side to win the national football league.

As a journalist, I came to know Musisi as a brilliant, humorous, industrious, shrewd planner who did not fear to take risks while making decisions. I found out that Mzeei Musisi didn’t have the word “No” in his vocabulary yet he incredibly maneuvered through difficult times.

Very often he found himself in the middle of the heat between Express FC warring parties. For instance during the administration wrangles of 1985 club heavy weight Rabbi Mulondo appointed Ssegwanga on the interim committee to help save the sinking Express FC .

And I will never forget when we were working on the official magazine of Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup tournament which was hosted in Uganda in 1984. I asked for a write-up from him as a Cecafa life member. He looked me up and said: “Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup is the second biggest single sports event on the continent besides the Africa Cup of Nations ( now AFCON) and previously as Gossage Cup was undoubtedly the oldest tournament in whole of Africa. According to him, each year during the Cecafa tournament everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student which makes it a joy to watch.

Mzeei Musisi was a darling of sports journalists as well.

His signature tune during briefings was always, “Gentlemen and lady of the press.”

That only lady then covering sports he referred to was none other than Victo Namusisi Nalongo arguably the first all round woman sports journalist in Uganda and co-founder of USPA. Elsewhere, listeners would eagerly wait for Mzeei Musisi’s husk voice on Radio Uganda at half time whenever Uganda teams travelled outside the country as he usually assured them of results even when the going was tough.

The only time I saw Musisi stone-faced was inside Namirembe Cathedral when a wedding of a very close relative aborted just before the vows.

Mzeei Musisi groomed and encouraged many sportsmen including managers, players and referees. He was the figure head of his family. Perhaps his most glorifying product is prominent businessman and exemplary Ssaza Chief of Kyaggwe county, Alex Kigongo Kikonyogo, a pride of Buganda kingdom whom he nurtured from childhood.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Kenya Down 4 Places in Latest FIFA Rankings

By Alex Isaboke

Nairobi — Despite winning their last two international friendly matches, Kenya has dropped four places in the latest FIFA rankings to sit 89th in the world.

Harambee Stars beat Mozambique1-0 before edging out Liberia by the same score-line at the Kasarani Stadium early this month but that could not help them climb since the two teams were lowly ranked below them.

In the East Africa region (CECAFA), Kenya is placed second behind Uganda who sit 73rd in the world after dropping one place.

Rwanda who went up six places to sit at position101 are third in CECAFA while Ethiopia who climbed11 places are fourth in the region.

Kenya sit 21st in Africa, 56 places behind Senegal who are leading the continent as they occupy 33rd position in the world ahead of Africa champions Ivory Coast who dropped three places to lie 34th.

Tunisia are the third best ranked team in the continent followed by Egypt while Algeria closes the top five best African teams.

From the two matches that Kenya played, they collected 244.8 points against Liberia and 267.75 against Mozambique.

Argentina continue to top the standings with Brazil swapping places with Germany to come in at second on the world rankings.


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