By the mere fact that you are alive, it qualifies you to be a potential candidate for Prison irrespective of your wealth or power.
As part of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, here is our story with Uganda’s Biggest Prison, Luzira.
Luzira Upper Prison keeps hold of convicts and those on remand for capital offenses. Some of the inmates are on death row, life imprisonment, serving tens of years while others are uncertain of their future as their cases are yet to be determined.
The reality of life is that not all inmates are actually guilty of the cases they are charged or even convicted for.
It is of course not a simple task for the relevant authorities to separate between the innocent and the guilty in some cases.
What is important to note is that there are cases for those who have been put on death row that have eventually regained freedom. Hope is all that can be given in all cases
On 12th March 2017, FUFA led by myself and a host former Ex-International Football players made a maiden visit to Luzira Upper Prison. It was my first time in this place and I was so humbled.
Something is useless when you have it until you lose it. Freedom is not a foregone guarantee.
The FUFA President’s XI team, composed of former Uganda Cranes Players, played a football match against the Upper Stars (A team of inmates).
Their team composed of very good, talented young players although the pitch was bad and all bare ground
We got to learn that there is a football league competition composed of 10 clubs with inmates as players.
The Clubs had European Clubs names. We agreed that they change the names to Ugandan Football Clubs Names and FUFA would rename and support the competition, the FUFA Cup of Hope.
The competition was played for 2017/8 Season and now 2018/9 Season was completed on 17th March 2019 and as a curtain raiser, The FUFA President’s XI once again played against the Upper Stars and the game ended 6-4 in favour of the Upper Stars with the ultimate final match of Express FC beating KCCA FC
. The interesting part is when former players of Express FC and KCCA FC where invited to the dressing rooms to give team talks to their respective clubs. A player for Express FC called Kasibante Bashir was an extremely outstanding talent and a beauty to watch
What we also learnt is emphasis on FUFA, CAF and FIFA Rules and the contracts and transfer of players between the clubs that is lucrative for the talented players
Since 2017, FUFA has delivered the promises of useable things like Sugar, Soap and cooking oil from the Uganda Cranes Sponsors thus BIDCO, a Brand New Desktop Computer, Sporting Equipment of Balls, Referees Equipment, Gloves and most importantly delivered a course for referees to manage the FUFA Cup of Hope Competition.
Next year it is going to be a course for Coaches.
I have also observed that with these inmates who are kept into this place with not much activity and many of them very young and energetic, a proper pitch would provide them an opportunity to continue living in hope of getting free one day but also enhancing their talents with the unlimited free time they got.
Many could be rehabilitated and become more useful when they reconnect with society. An Artificial Pitch would be the most appropriate considering the usage of the pitch
As FUFA, we get excited that our game can be used to give Hope to persons in these situations.
The level of excitement and passion exhibited during the football matches definitely takes away albeit for moments the reality of confinement that these human beings are going through.
We have been told when we leave, it takes them over a month talking about the event and hoping for the next one to come
It is only the Almighty God who knows the real truth of the guilty and innocent in that place and will definitely judge their respective earthly works.
We only pray that the guilty are forgiven and learn from the experience to become more useful citizens after if they ever regain their freedom and the innocent ones have justice delivered
It is Our Game, It is Our Country.
CAF Executive Committee Member
Eng. Moses Magogo