Shame on Us!

By on July 31, 2017

Just like many other Ugandans, I am rather unimpressed by the fact that this otherwise loyal non Ugandan in the name of Milutin Sredojević (Micho) has been treated like crap for quite a number of years. Before I even point any fingers, I feel like we have embarrassed ourselves as Ugandans in the manner we have treated our now former national team coach Micho especially regarding nonpayment of dues owed to him.

I can not claim to know the details of the contract he signed with FUFA but I’d like to think that honouring the contract should have been a no-brainer for FUFA. I really don’t understand how and why these robbers at FUFA are able to boldly face the public and give the statements they give. Such madness is simply shocking. People who call press conferences to openly show the world how heartless and inconsiderate they are are people who deserve death by firing squad!

It is common knowledge that FUFA has not paid Micho for several months. And it is well known that the shenanigans are not new because there has been on-going rot. In fact, a few months ago, social media was awash with the #PayMicho ramblings. One would have thought the wound would have been treated then. Sadly, records now show that Micho is owed well up to $54,000 in debts. The Serbian has often complained of non payment and each time, there is some kind of temporary fix hatched by FUFA to keep the man quiet and encourage him to stay in the job. And he has stayed in the job each time albeit unpaid. That has worked quite well for them but from the look of things, the last straw has broken the camel’s back.

As if that is not horrible enough, Moses Magogo the FUFA President has the nuts to say “We offered to double Micho’s salary but he rejected the offer. The Federation had nothing more to do.”

Are you kidding me? I’ll tell you what the Federation could have done; PAY THE GUY WHAT HE IS OWED!

Micho (Chimp Reports)

I am not privy to FUFA’s financials but I refuse to believe that they had absolutely no money to pay Micho for all those months. I have a feeling the money to pay Micho is lying in some bank account and a pack of wolves is simply waiting for this whole thing to blow over before they can devour what was rightfully Micho’s – assuming they haven’t already shared it amongst themselves. What a bunch of heartless highway robbers we are dealing with! How are we going to attract any more decent coaches if our history of paying them is shabby and shameful?

Micho is one of those few non Ugandans who actually love this country to death. When you speak with him, you can literally see, hear and feel his love for the country. To him, the national team coach job was not just a job with a salary but a complete wonderful hobby, something he loved and something he was very proud of. Everywhere in the world he went, Micho reminded people that Uganda is such a lovely place. During his tumultuous spell with Uganda Cranes he had offers to go coach elsewhere but he turned them all down, always insisting that Uganda felt more like home to him than any other place in Africa.

And what did we do? We bent him over and reluctantly rammed into his behind. Imagine! I feel so embarassed as a Ugandan. FUFA needs to do better, Uganda needs to do better!

Milutin Sredojevic during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations match between Egypt and Uganda AFP
Micho during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations match between Egypt and Uganda – AFP

On Saturday, at a small send off party organised by Kawowo Sports for Coach Micho, I had a chance to interact with the Serbian. He was quite jovial and seemed almost unbothered by what was going on in the press regarding the failure of FUFA to pay him. It was almost as if he had decided to move on to the next chapter of his life choosing to remember the good times and intentionally ignore the bad times. And I applaud him for this. I really do. I also applaud him for being patient, continuing to serve this country despite everything and for being the approachable and cordial person he has been and still is.

On behalf of other Ugandans, I offer an apology to Micho for how badly we have treated him. It is not in our nature as Ugandans to be heartless and insensitive with people who work for this country. It is not in our nature to treat people like worthless pieces of excrement even when we should be thanking and perhaps even bowing to them. It is not in our nature to go around peddling false rumours and soiling the image of people who have served the nation simply because we are failing to meet our end of the bargain.

I profusely apologise for all these shenanigans.

We are extremely grateful for all the successes Micho secured for us, all the delicious victories, all the endless smiles, all the immeasurable joys and all the pleasant memories. We are particularly thankful for the opportunity to watch the Uganda Cranes play in the Africa Cup of Nations in our lifetime. For some of us who were born after 1978, watching the Cranes play in the AFCON tournament was simply a dream. And thanks to Micho, this dream came true.

We are thankful for the fact that the Uganda Cranes once again become a symbol of national Unity. Everyone, irrespective of political inclination, relationship status, tribe, height, age or religious affiliation rallied behind the Uganda Cranes not once or twice, but on several occasions. Some days were good, others were not so good and some were simply horrible. But we are thankful for the memories.

I would like to wish Coach Micho well wherever he goes and I would like for him to always have a place for us in his heart as we shall have a place in our hearts for him – forever.

Good luck to Moses Basena and Fred Kajjoba who will be taking over where Micho left off in the CHAN 2018 qualifiers. I pray FUFA cleans up their house because as it is, their filth smeared on all the walls. Shame on us!

“Memories are bullets. Some whiz by and only spook you. Others tear you open and leave you in pieces.” ― Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead

a.k.a Beewol
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One Comment

  1. @CharlieBeau Diary of a Muzungu

    August 1, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Ah, I can so relate to him “… always insisting that Uganda felt more like home to him than any other place in Africa.”
    That also explains why I too get shafted and people don’t pay me! LOL Uganda.