The Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) has been hit by the sudden departure of three high-ranking officials in just two months. The most recent blow to the association was chairman Michael Nuwagaba's resignation over the weekend, barely a few months after his reappointment in March.
Nuwagaba attributed his departure primarily to career and personal reasons and will officially leave office on October 16, 2023. Similarly, Allan Mugume, the chief executive officer of the association, tendered his resignation citing personal reasons. He will officially hand over office on December 11, 2023.
However, while all officials cited personal reasons for their resignations, it is believed that there was a rift within the upper ranks of the association regarding the renewal of Cricket Cranes head coach Lawrence Mahatlane's contract, which is set to expire in October.
Sources have indicated that both Nuwagaba and Mugume were in favour of renewing Mahatlane's contract, while several other board members vehemently opposed the idea and desired the departure of the South African coach, arguing that keeping him around would cost the association.
“The chairman’s advice was that; because the coach’s contract runs out on October 31 and the national team will be playing in Namibia the next month, we hold onto the coach up to until that time, not that he wanted him to stay or go, but the wisdom should have been that we keep him for an extra month and then after than we can make a decision whether to keep him or not," Denis Musaali, the communications director of the association said.
In their press statement, UCA officially confirmed that Mahatlane would not have his contract renewed, and his tenure would end on October 31, 2023. The statement also mentioned that the process to fill the resulting vacancies had already commenced.
However, Mahatlane's impending departure raises concern, as it coincides with the period just before the Cricket Cranes participate in the ICC T20 World Cup Africa regional qualifier in Namibia, potentially jeopardizing the team's preparations.
Musaali told URN that while he agrees that there was a clash amongst the top officials over the renewal of Mahatlane’s contract, it was not the stated reason for the resignations of the two officials, as neither of them mentioned it.
“One of the reasons the two officials gave, one was career and the other, was personal, so there is no mention of disagreements between the board members, and he is still the Chairman up to October 15. He added that the development is normal for any healthy organization.