Give me one million shillings and leave the rest on me, referee Emmanuel Kiweewa was heard in a recording asking for a bribe from Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi coach Noah Mugerwa ahead of the University league semis last year.
Emmanuel Kiweewa was skating on thin ice when he asked for that bribe but that is an understatement. The right phrase should be – Kiweewa shot himself right in the foot.
The FUFA Ethics Committee found Kiweewa guilty and he was handed a five-year ban!
Is it over for him? What next for the once respected referee?
Seated hopelessly at home in his couch on Friday, Kiweewa received a call from his concerned friend who broke the news to him.
“I was home and a friend called consoling me over the verdict, I did not know what he was talking about,” he narrates.
“Because I was eagerly waiting for the decision from my bosses since last year, I begged my friend to reveal to which he hesitated, but rather directed me to the FUFA website.
“I opened it and read the statement, took the deepest breath never before and sat down.”
The referee hopes to appeal against the verdict and also try explain the available conspiracies in the case.
Mugerwa, the coach who was at the other end in the infamous audio refused to comment when approached but on begging, he briefly said:
“Well, I cannot comment about the case now because I was officially summoned to the committee and gave my side. Although I think the punishment is a bit harsh to the referee.
In FUFA’s verdict, Mugerwa was not mentioned anywhere, and that brings to the conclusion that he will walk a free man.
“If you listen to the audio very well, I was not asking to give money for a bribe but money was being asked from me, I think that sums it up,” Mugerwa claims.
Kiweewa is a qualified coach with a CAF B license, and had started coaching Kampala Junior Team (KJT) but it remains to be known if the ban bars him from taking part in all football activities.
The decision to ban Kiweewa for five years might have set a good precedent but it has raised more questions than answers.
Why do referees ask for bribes? The easiest answer on fingertips is because of to get money. Then if so, are these referees paid on time and appropriately? Won’t the decision add more pressure to the referees?