Netball Federation Pins Ogwel Over Kickbacks

The war of words between Sarah Babirye Kityo, the president of the Uganda Netball Federation, and Dr. Patrick Ogwel, the General Secretary of the National Council of Sports is far from over. Kityo has made fresh allegations accusing Ogwel of asking for kickbacks whenever disbursing funds to facilitate the National netball team.

Addressing journalists at the Uganda Netball Federation head offices in Kampala on Monday, Kityo said the NCS boss has been repeatedly asking for kickbacks from their federation whenever he is allocating funds to the National team, She Cranes. She cited their trip to South Africa in 2021 for the Male Netball Championship where Ogwel reportedly demanded a kickback of Shillings 40 out of the Shillings 100 million allocated for the championship.

According to Kityo, although the federation’s top leadership agreed not to pay the kickback, the vice president, Richard Muhumuza, and General Secretary, Amina Mande defied the resolution and paid Dr. Ogwel Shillings 30 million, which was supposed to cover the player’s allowances.

Kityo says that she couldn’t have any of this and approached Ogwel to query about the money. She says that Ogwel denied the claims that he had pocketed the money and threatened to open a defamation case against Muhumuza and Mande, which he didn’t do. According to Kityo, he wrote to Ogwel on September 24, 2021, about the same money but he didnt reply.

“I hereby write to seek your guidance on the matter above of shillings 30 million that was meant for players’ allowances for the recently concluded Male netball championship in South Africa. It has come to my attention that Mr. Muhummuza Richard has not yet paid players’ allowances claiming that he gave the thirty million back to you as per your request. The purpose of this letter is to seek guidance on how we should account for this money yet the players never received it now that the accountability has to be submitted within 45 days to your office,” reads the letter

In the same development, Kityo accused Ogwel of failing to provide any funding to the Netball Federation this financial year on grounds that they failed to account for funding they recieved in the previous financial year. This cost the team multiple international events, including the World Cup qualifiers.

Netball has not received a single coin from the government. According to  Kityo, they were fined USD 5000 by the International Netball Federation for failure to take part in the world cup qualifiers. While addressing journalists last week, Dr. Ogwel said that the Netball Federation failed to account for the Shillings 425,014,000 they recieved in the financial year 2021/22 for the Africa Pent series and the African Netball Championship, which prompted him to withhold additional funding.

In his December 9th, 2021 letter, Ogwel told the Netball Federation President that there were several queries regarding their accountability and asked her to make clarification on the matters raised.

“This is to inform you that the National council of sports (NCS) has concluded the review of your accountability for funds disbursed to your Federation for quarter two FY 2021/2022 of UGX 425,014,000/=. As a result of the above exercise, your Federation is requested to provide additional documents and responses to the queries (copy attached) raised by the National council of sports for further management,” Ogwel wrote.

Amongst the queries raised in the letter include the failure by the Netball Federation to acknowledge receipt of Shillings 127,256,220 that the NCS paid for air tickets to and from South Africa. Additionally, the Federation reportedly failed to account for Shillings 288,262,220, which Ogwel said is contrary to section 24 (f) of the public finance management regulations, 2016.

According to the detailed accountability that UNF submitted, the Federation used Shillings 139,347, 810 for accommodation, Shillings 13,500,000 for allowances of the delegation, Shillings 8 million for members who never traveled, Shillings 9,639,000 for Visa application, and Shillings 5,355,000 as participation fees, Shillings 6,747,300 for COVID-19 tests, and Shillings 10 million for kits.

However, Kityo insists that the Netball Federation only received Shillings 186,374,014, which they have fully accounted for.

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