Rugby Afrique : Uganda and Kenya at loggerheads

Rugby Afrique will be bringing an end to President Abdelazziz Boudja’s reign this month when the continent’s ruling body of the game of rugby goes to the polls to select a new leadership at the 13th General Assembly.

There has reportedly risen a rift between Kenya Rugby Union and Uganda Rugby Union which is said to be the grounds to ruin a good and working East African relationship and connection. The rift is about the position of Vice Presidency which was reportedly agreed to be going to KRU’s Richard Omwela, but the emergence of URU President Andrew Owor’s interest in the position is leaving a sour taste in the mouths of KRU officials.

Richard Omwela is quoted by Kenya’s RagaHouse to say that English speaking unions had planned to front one candidate, preferably him, for the position of Vice-Presidency but Uganda Rugby Union president Andrew Owor 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 Owor’s move to vie as an insult,” Omwela is quoted to say.

“If he(Owor) 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.”

It is widely understood that Tunisia’s Mr Khaleed will be the next Rugby Afrique President, with Uganda’s Andrew Owor allegedly accepting to serve as his vice, a position which Omwela said the Anglophone nations agreed would be going to Kenya Rugby Union, him to be exact.

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“Andrew Owor was nominated by current Rugby Afrique Executive Committee led by outgoing Rugby Afrique President Mr  Abdelaziz Boudja, as well as by South Africa Rugby Union,” said URU CEO Ramsey Olinga.

Rugby Afrique President Mr Abdelaziz (3rd Left) in Uganda for the Gold Cup game against Morocco alongside State Minister For Sports Hon Bakabulindi, UOC Chairperson William Blick and URU President Andrew Owor

Ten Ugandans currently ply their trade of Rugby in Kenya i.e Philip Wokorach, Asuman Mugerwa and Eliphaz Emong at Kabras Sugar, Solomon Okia, Daudi Ssemwami, Jasper Ochen, Scott Oluoch and Aaron Ofoywroth at Kenya Harlequins, James Odongo at Nondescripts and Saul Kivumbi at Impala Saracens.

“Maybe it was discussed at presidents level but unions were never made aware of this if ever it happened, and I have never had of that agreement. However I don’t know of any feuds between Kenya and Uganda on any fronts.”

Over 30 union presidents are expected to be at the general assembly with invited guests from SARU (South Africa Rugby Union) alongside anticipated guests like 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).