Waterlogged pitches and bare grounds are a common occurrence in Ugandan football games. Maintaining of pitches is a tough task which explains why Bunyoro-Kitara football administrators were extremely annoyed when the Booma grounds -Masindi pitch was destroyed by a musical show staged by the Minister in charge of Bunyoro affairs and also Masindi municipality Member of Parliament Hon. Earnest Apuuli Kiiza.
Sports enthusiasts, especially youths in Masindi are enraged by the fact the pitch had just been relayed with newly planted grass by area football administrators and well wishers led by FUFA Head of marketing Rogers Byamukama, Manager Nsubuga, Yahaya Lubega, Innocent Businge among others.
The venue is owned by Masindi municipality council, which also reserves the right to grant permission for the use of the facility.
The “deeply disappointed” football fraternity in the area has now vowed to plot against the Minister in the next general election due 2021, who they accuse of destroying the facility.
The well wishers, Masindi district football association together with the Municipality had just planted new grass to make the pitch green again as the venue was being prepared to host the FUFA Drum tournament.
However, before even the grass could stabilize, the minister allegedly used his position to gets rights of hosting his Bunyoro broadcasting Service (BBS) radio annual musical show.
Kiiza, also the Bunyoro kingdom Prime minister staged his radio’s flopped ‘Ekimbuulu kya BBS’ festivals on July 28 at the newly planted grass which left the pitch bare with all the green destroyed.
According to Kitara region football association administrators, Booma grounds is one of the biggest grounds in the region and there had been a deliberate campaign to keep it green as par FUFA standards so that it can host big FUFA matches.
“We had started with planting grass, and then we work on the perimeter fence and other infrastructures. We wanted to host big matches here to bring football business to our people. We are disappointed in the minister who even refused to contribute when we were greening the pitch. He ought to know how important that facility is to the area sports development is and at least would have provided resources to refurbish it after use,” one of the Kitara region football administrators, who preferred anonymity revealed.
“The youths and football lovers here are very angry at the minister and that is why the show flopped and have vowed to kick him out of parliament,” the source added.
Booma grounds have no perimeter fence, the latrines are also in the worst conditions while there seems no good will from the municipality to refurbish and maintain the facility to at least minimal standards.
When contacted, FUFA’s Byamukama was reserved for fear of the matter being politicized. “It is absurd because I rallied people to plant grass. I did my role as a football lover and administrator from the area. I honestly do not know what the solution is, but the council who give out the facility without precaution measures have to be held responsible,” noted Byamukama, who is the biggest rivalry to incumbent (Hon. Kiiza) for the Masindi municipality seat and the FUFA boss commands a lot of support in the youths and sports fraternity as well as women groups.