It looked like member countries had connived to throw out the entire outgoing executive of Cecafa but God’s mercy prevailed over incumbent President Leodgar Tenga and Somalia’s Abdiqan Saeed Arab, the only two survivors in today’s elections.
Uganda’s representative Justus Mugisha battled the ground but painfully lost his Executive committee seat on just one vote difference in a re-run after polling similar votes with Raoul Gisanura from Rwanda and Tesfaye Gabreyesus of Eritrea.
The trio had tied at 4 votes each in the first round. Abdiqan Saeed Arab (Somalia) and Tariq Atta Salih (Sudan) had both polled 8 votes each to take the first two seats on the executive committee. Ethiopia’s Sahilu Walde came third with 5 votes.
The re-run to determine the fourth executive committee member had Mugisha maintaining his four votes losing the seat to Roaul Gisanura with five votes. Tesfaye got 1 vote. Three out of the five executive committee members are new faces.
Incumbent President Eng. Leodgar Tenga 57, sailed through unopposed to retain his seat for a second term of office after his sole challenger Fadhoul Hussein failed to show up at an elective assembly here at New Africa Hotel in Dar es salaam city, Tanzania.
The Djibouti FA president had earlier been dully nominated to contest but drastically failed to show up. Cecafa General Secretary Nicholas Musonye read out the election procedures to an attentive audience.
A roll call was also conducted for all nominated candidates to which Fadhoul Hussein’s name had no response in the hall. Tenga was therefore unanimously elected President for his second and last term. Sources that preferred anonymity told www.fufa.co.ug that Fadhoul allegedly had some misunderstandings with the Sports Minister in Djibouti and that the government had put him under house arrest for two weeks now. Tenga however said he would still work with Fadhoul in other capacities of Football development.
Delivering his acceptance speech to the delegates, Tenga said he was proud of what had so far been achieved despite the limited resources. He mentioned stability in the region as one of his biggest successes registered in the last four years. “Kenya too, is now stable after holding very successful, free, fair and all inclusive elections” he said. Kenyan’s newly elected FA President Nyamweya Samuel and Rwanda’s Celestine Ntagungira were both attending their first congress since being elected a month ago.
Tenga who also doubles as the Tanzania FA leader hailed FIFA and CAF for being supportive to the region especially during the leadership instability in Kenya. He called on the heads of State in the region to emulate the positive acts by Kenya’s Paul Kagame and Sudanese Omar Bashir whom he singled out for being leading supporters to football development in the region. Kagame has sponsored the Cecafa club championship for a dozen of years now. “We need more government involvement in sponsoring football, Rwanda and Sudan are leading the way” Tenga applauded the two nations.
He confessed that despite the many successes registered, his leadership had not done well in areas of Youth and women football. “We have to do more in youth and women football…we have not held a single women championship” Tenga honestly mentioned. He was however quick to hail the corporate world and governments that have extended support to the region in terms of sponsorships. He pointed out GTV, Serengeti Breweries Ltd, Vodacom, Orange, Tanzania Breweries Ltd, the governments of Rwanda, Sudan and Eritrea among others.
Dr. Molefi Oliphant, a CAF executive committee member represented the continental body. Molefi is honorary Life President of the South African Football Association (SAFO). In his 4-minute speech, Molefi commended Cecafa for achievements registered but urged the individual associations to work harder towards qualification into continental and World cup tournaments. Emmanuel Maradal, from the FIFA Communications Division and Hubert Lisowski a FIFA Consulta from Poland were also in attendance.
(Compiled by Rogers Mulindwa, In Dar es salaam)