By Bernard Bakulu
The Bulemeezi County Chief, Kkangaawo Ronald Mulondo, has rallied soccer fans from his county to return to the playgrounds en masse following the expiry of their three-match ban. Last year, the organizers of Buganda’s Masaza Cup banned the fans of Bulemeezi County from the tournament for their alleged misconduct.
The decision stemmed from an investigation into the disturbances that erupted after the Semi-final return leg match on October 16, 2022, between Bulemeezi and Buddu County at Kasana playground in Luwero town council. The ban was officially issued on October 26, 2022, by the ethics and disciplinary committee.
Bulemeezi fans were held responsible for assaulting 11 Buddu fans and causing damage to 13 vehicles. In response to this, Buddu reported the incident to the ethics committee. In a similar manner, Bulemeezi accused Buddu fans of theft and physical assaults following the game. There were counter-accusations by Bulemeezi that Buddu fans entered the stadium forcefully without paying.
The committee used video evidence to adjudicate on the matter. Four Bulemeezi players – Ssessazi Sulaiman, Oloya Habibu, Zizinga Ashraf, and Bagenda Abdul – received two-year bans for attacking match officials. Additionally, Patrick Bunya, a fan of Bulemeezi county was prohibited from attending any Masaza Cup games for a five-year duration.
The committee also initially ordered that Bulemeezi FC play its first three home matches on a neutral ground, a decision later rescinded by the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA). Instead, Bulemeezi was allowed to play at its Kasana playground home ground, but without fans.
Wasswa Tadeo Ziritwawula, the chairman of Bulemeezi County Football Club advised fans to support the team from home through media channels. However, Kkangaawo Mulondo has urged fans to start attending matches again, beginning with the upcoming match between Bulemeezi and Bugerere Counties at Kasana playground in Luwero Town Council.
He revealed that the team completed its punishment while maintaining a reasonable performance level, currently holding third place. Mulondo emphasized that a strong fan base could further enhance the team’s performance. He expressed these sentiments during a County Session in Bbowa, Luwero District, chaired by Speaker Dan Senku and attended by various officials.