In recent months, the Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) has faced a series of unexpected departures, with the latest blow being the resignation of Chairman Michael Nuwagaba. This comes just a few months after his reappointment in March, and it marks the third high-ranking official to step down from their positions within the span of two months.
Nuwagaba, who has served as Chairman, cited personal and career-related reasons for his resignation. His departure from office is scheduled for October 16, 2023. Additionally, Allan Mugume, the Chief Executive Officer of the Association, has also tendered his resignation, attributing it to personal reasons. He will officially hand over office duties on December 11, 2023.
Although each of the departing officials has cited personal reasons for their resignations, there is speculation that underlying tensions within the upper echelons of the association may have contributed to these developments. The crux of the matter appears to revolve around the renewal of the contract for Cricket Cranes Head Coach, Lawrence Mahatlane, which is set to expire in October.
Inside sources suggest that both Nuwagaba and Mugume were in favor of extending Mahatlane’s contract. In contrast, several other board members strongly opposed this idea, advocating for the departure of the South African coach, arguing that retaining him would burden the association financially.
Denis Musaali, the Communications Director of the association, shed light on the situation, stating, “The chairman’s advice was that, since the coach’s contract runs out on October 31, and the national team will be playing in Namibia the following month, we should retain the coach until that time. Not because he wanted him to stay or go, but the wisdom should have been to keep him for an extra month and then decide whether to retain him or not.”
UCA, in an official press statement, has confirmed that Lawrence Mahatlane’s contract will not be renewed, and his tenure will conclude on October 31, 2023. The statement also noted that the process to fill the resulting vacancies within the association has already been set in motion.
However, the timing of Mahatlane’s impending departure has raised concerns, particularly since it coincides with the lead-up to the ICC T20 World Cup Africa regional qualifier in Namibia. This has the potential to disrupt the preparations of the Cricket Cranes team.
Musaali acknowledged that while there were differences among the top officials regarding Mahatlane’s contract, these disputes were not explicitly cited as reasons for the resignations of the two departing officials, both of whom cited personal and career-related factors. He emphasized that such transitions are a normal part of the evolution of any healthy organization.