Uganda’s weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko has revealed that the person who accompanied him to Japan as his coach was not the real coach.
The now sickly Ssekitooleko who has spent three days and nights with common criminal suspects in the cells of Jinja road Police Station says the real coach is Ivan Masakwe who lives in Kisugu, Kampala.
He told a team of sports officials who went to the station to try and secure his release that both him and the real coach were shocked when at the last minute they were shown another person, Hakim Sempereza, as the coach to accompany him to Japan.
According to Ssekitooleko, the real coach Sempereza who had even already got his visa for Japan broke down and cried when he was bumped off the contingent. Ssekitoleko says he knows the purported coach, Hakim Sempereza because he is also a weightlifter but not a coach. Sempereza was far from qualifying for the Olympics and Ssekitoleko was the only player representing the whole Uganda as its weightlifting player.
He swears that by the time they left Uganda and all his first days in Japan, he was made to believe that he had qualified to take part in the Olympics and was shocked to be told from Japan that he wouldn’t participate. That is how he became disappointed and decided to “kweyiya” (hustle).
Ssekitoleko has not yet been charged with any offence, and they say they are holding him on behalf of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation as they continue probing, in case the 20-year old could be part of the fraud in which he was transported to Japan.
There are no officials in town who can shed light on whether it was known that Ssekitoleko was not going to participate by the time he was sent to Japan, as they are all in Japan. They include Salim Musoke, the Uganda Weightlifting president. The only knowledgeable official in Kampala for now is coach Ivan Masakwe, himself a confused victim who was bumped off the contingent.
The team of officials that was in Jinja Road for much of Monday morning was led by the interim Chairman of Union of Uganda’s Sports Federations and Association -UUSFA Moses Muhangi, who condemned the detention of Ssekitoleko. The alleged ‘coach’ who went to Japan, Hakim Sempereza is also back in Kampala but CID/Police have not bothered with him yet.