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World Netball President Orders Uganda Netball Federation’s Executive to Step Down Amid Leadership Crisis

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Dame Liz Nicholi, the President of the World Netball (WN) Board, has mandated the present executive members of the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) to immediately step aside until fair elections are conducted and leadership issues are resolved.

This directive follows the recent revocation of the Uganda Netball Federation’s recognition by the National Council of Sports (NCS) due to their failure to address significant governance concerns.

In accordance with the World Netball’s articles of association, member entities are required to have exclusive authority over governing netball within their respective countries. As UNF no longer meets this criterion, World Netball retains the right to temporarily suspend the member from its company pending further consideration by the full members.

In a letter dated November 2, directed to the acting UNF president, Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso, the World Netball outlined that while they possess the authority to suspend UNF from their membership, they prefer to provide an opportunity for the resolution of internal conflicts to avert suspension.

The statement read, “The World Netball believes that suspending the UNF would not serve the best interests of netball and its participants. Therefore, to prevent suspension and address significant governance issues highlighted by the National Council of Sports of Uganda and to regain National Sports Council recognition, WN requests that the current UNF executive steps down immediately without compensation for loss of office. A normalization committee, established by WN, will oversee UNF until fair and democratic elections can be conducted.”

The World Netball warned that failure by UNF to comply with these directives could result in Uganda’s suspension from its membership.

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The current UNF executive, led by President Sarah Kityo Babirye, has encountered persistent challenges in governance and leadership, cited as the cause behind the recent withdrawal of NCS recognition. Allegations include the failure to disclose UNF’s funding sources to the NCS.

These accusations led the Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, to instruct Babirye to refrain from assuming office, allowing for investigations into mismanagement and accountability concerns within her administration.

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