What you need to know:
- Magogo returned to office after the suspension and has continued serving normally, even being confident enough to expand his wings in politics, hencing holding two public offices as MP for Budiope East and Fufa president.
- His re-election, that is set for final stamping – as a sole candidate - by the Fufa Delegates next month, remains controversial since by plea bargain, he had admitted to breaching Ethics Code
Weeks after this publication questioned ethical dealings between Fufa and a content production company, ownership of the said football federation’s partners remains a mystery.
However, strands of blood vessels connecting Fufa president Moses Magogo to Satellite Plus Systems, the company the football FA contracted to produce broadcast content for its competitions, are thick and neatly appended at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).
Magogo, who doubles as Budiope East MP, owns PearlSporto, a company that controversially ran business with Fufa about 10 years ago. And a one Daniel Isabirye, listed as a director at PearlSporto, is also one of the top honchos at Satellite Plus Systems.
It gets thicker that Isabirye, Magogo and Faisal Musenze – the latter said to be a relative of the Fufa boss – are bank signatories to PearlSporto, a company whose old address is coincidentally registered with URSB as that of the mystery Satellite Plus Systems.
Appearing on the NTV Press Box sports show last month, Magogo admitted to ownership of PearlSporto but distanced himself from Satellite Plus Systems.
PearlSporto, with Magogo its principal owner and his reported relative, Musenze, one of its bank signatories, was in 2012 contracted by the FA to fly Cranes fans to Zambia.
Magogo was the Fufa vice president in charge of administration at the time, which in itself breaches the Fifa Code of Ethics regarding conflict of interest.
Last month, Daily Monitor reported that Musenze is also widely involved in the production of Fufa matches with Satellite Systems, including Uganda Cup that was broadcast live on UBC, and lower tier league games played in a bubble at the Fufa Technical Centre in Njeru.
The major question our story sought answers for was the connection between the Fufa president, Fufa and the production company, since the FA was paying the production company for its work.
The Daily Monitor story, which Fufa strongly contested and responded to with a detailed account of how production, transmission and broadcast works, also sought to understand how they arrived at a particular company without advertising tenders.
“The Fufa Executive Committee,” reads in part the FA’s rebuttal, “As mandated, enacted the Fufa Procurement and Disposal Manual.
“In the process of procuring Satellite Plus Systems for the production of the 94 matches, all Fufa procurement processes were followed.”
This publication reached out to the Fufa head of Communications, Ahmed Hussein, last week to enlighten us further on the procurement process but he did not respond to our inquiry.
“Also to note,” added the Fufa response to our earlier story, “from the documents at the disposal of Fufa, received as part of due diligence, Hon. Magogo Moses Hassim is not one of the owners of the Company, neither was he involved in the process of its procurement.”
Unreachable company owners
The secrecy surrounding Fufa’s dealings with Satellite Systems is so thick that initially, Magogo and several officials at Fufa repeatedly name the firm as “Satellite Media.”
With the OB van used in football broadcast branded as Satellite Media Plus, this newspaper’s search landed on Satellite Media Link Ltd, whose principal director turned out to be Martin Busulwa, a journalist.
Busulwa, however, said that although his company worked in the same field, he has never had any business with Fufa.
It was only while releasing its detailed information on broadcast business in response to Daily Monitor story that Fufa ended up feeding this paper’s investigations by giving the correct name of the company it deals with.
Daily Monitor did reach out to URSB to find out the ownership of Satellite Plus Systems and whether it is connected to the Fufa president, which some claim.
According to URSB records and copies of several registration documents in possession of this paper, Satellite Plus Systems (U) Ltd, registered on May 17, 2012, has a one businessman Richard Byabazaire as a principal shareholder.
Nantege Magrette and Daniel Isabirye, who replaced Madrine Nazziwa in the first part of last year, are the other directors.
Isabirye, along with Magogo and Musenze, are also listed as bank signatories to a PearlSporto account at dfcu Bank, City Hall branch, according to the company resolutions of January 2013 submitted to URSB.
Satellite Plus Systems’ first registered address with URSB in February 2018 was Plot 170, Bombo Rd. The Post Office Box number registered is 28160, Kampala.
But the office was later moved to Mutundwe, Kyadondo, Block 8, Kirinyabigo Road.
The mist melt
Whether by coincidence or commission, the same Satellite Plus Systems Box Office number 28160 is also what is registered as Magogo’s address in PearlSporto documents submitted with URSB.
Attempts to get to any of the listed Satellite Plus Systems directors have been futile, even at URSB.
“There are no contacts on the file,” Provia Nangobi, the URSB public relations officer, said after checking with her team, “Their filings were done by agents.”
Asked whether URSB, as a companies regulatory authority, would also be in no position to look up a defaulting company, for example; Nangobi said: “When we put out noncompliance notices, they go out publicly to all companies. But if you checked the file follow-up with the agent/law firm, they can give you the number of the client.”
Nangobi furnished this reporter with a mobile phone number of the agent/representative, who she named as Alex Ntale, believed to have helped register Satellite Plus Systems.
However, on calling, the speaker murmured at the other end, waiting for the caller to identify himself before submitting: “Wrong number.”
We then looked up over the internet for Kaweesa and Company Advocates, the law firm enlisted on Satellite registration documents.
One of them had a phone number that was not going through while another went unanswered on the first attempt, and made busy the next.
We also reached out to Fufa head of Communications, Hussein, first via WhatsApp, where he promised to find out from the FA CEO, and later via email on who from Satellite can speak to the media.
“It is fair that we have a word from Satellite Plus Systems,” we wrote to Hussein.
“Kindly share contacts with us in order for us to do a fair and balanced piece for all involved parties.”
We had not received any response by the time we published this.
One can only wonder how an entity dealing with a company of public interest like Fufa be so discreet that no one speaks for it, or shares its contacts.
Magogo is on record saying Satellite Plus Systems has been in business with Fufa for close to 10 years now, meaning they started working together as soon as the company came into existence.
Stakeholders in the dark
Several football stakeholders confessed to being in the dark about the identity of any of the registered directors of Satellite Plus Systems, or the company itself – despite the fact that the content producer transacts on their behalf.
“No. First time it has surfaced,” said Harunah Kyobe, a records assistant in former Fufa president Lawrence Mulindwa administration in 2012, the same year Satellite Plus was registered.
“It’s the first time I’m seeing both names, never heard of them anywhere in football circles.”
Proline director Mujib Kasule, who cried foul in the just ended Fufa president nominations that had Magogo as the sole candidate, agreed with Kyobe’s submissions.
“I don’t know any of them,” said Kasule – a critic of the Magogo administration – of the said Satellite Plus Systems directors.
Clubs such as Vipers and KCCA, among others, welcomed Fufa’s broadcast initiative but wondered why they were kept in the dark until the Daily Monitor story forced them to release more information.
“I would like to express my disappointment on relay of this information (production and broadcast details),” KCCA CEO Anisha Muhoozi told this newspaper.
“This communication should have come at the inception of the broadcast of the Uganda Cup games to clubs.
“There was no formal communication made and all we saw were vans parked at stadia to broadcast the games.
“Whereas the initiative is good, it should have been communicated formally to clubs.”
One of Vipers directors, Thaddeus Kitandwe, submitting on one of the football platforms, said: “I wish you had shared this info with the clubs. Must clubs just allow to be on TV just because someone put their matches there?”
In a rejoinder to this publication, Kitandwe expressed dismay that Fufa had gone ahead to use clubs without seeking their consent whatsoever.
“By putting somebody’s content on TV without the consent of the clubs, Fufa are encroaching on commercial and broadcast rights. At least you engage them before and explain so they can consent.”
In their publication, Fufa explained that they had to have Uganda Cup matches on TV so as to to create more value for commercial rights holders Stanbic Bank and Plascon, who inject Shs300m and Shs132m in the tournament respectively.
So “Fufa undertook to pay the cost of production and also agree with a broadcaster (UBC) to air the matches,” the FA explained.
“Fufa received a proposal by Satellite Plus Systems, a company that has been in trade with Fufa over the same business for the last about 10 years to produce 94 matches at a cost of about $1,100 per match (about Shs4m).
The 94 matches include Fufa Women League, Uganda Cup, Big League playoffs and regional qualifiers.
“Fufa was saving more than 75 percent from the market rates for the same job. Fufa accepted the offer and contracted Satellite Plus Systems to undertake the job.”
With the ownership of Satellite Plus Systems still a matter of contention, the question is who does Fufa pay that money to?
According to Fufa, in order to broadcast the signal produced by Satellite Plus Systems, they agreed terms with UBC to televise the Fufa Women Competitions Matches (56 matches) and Uganda Cup (25 matches).
“There was no exchange of money from either party but a share of the revenues when eventually broadcast sponsors are found,” explained the FA.
“So far, only Stanbic Bank has agreed to pay Shs80m as a contribution to the cost of production, which is about Shs362m.”
In its deals with UBC, the public broadcaster signed a memorandum of understanding for revenue sharing agreement with Fufa that would be effected should there be a live broadcast of Cranes games for which airtime is sold to advertisers.
There are reportedly over 10 prospective brands in negotiations with Fufa to be part of the Live Broadcast Sponsors of Fufa Competitions for next season. The objective, according to Fufa, is to generate more revenue from the sale of broadcast to cover the cost of production, transmission, and airtime.
“The rest of the monies shall be for the benefit of Fufa, Clubs, Referees, Coaches, and Players amongst others.”
Fufa did a good job breaking down what they had kept from stakeholders for all this long. But still who the money for production is paid to remains a matter of contention, a matter that the Fifa Code of Ethics would also be interested in.
When Fifa suspended Magogo over illegal sale of World Cup tickets
The Fufa boss will hope to exonerate himself from any alleged ownership connection fast, especially that just under two years ago, he escaped with what some thought was lenient punishment for illegal sale of the 2014 World Cup tickets allocated to Uganda.
“The Independent Ethics Committee has ratified the plea bargain entered into by Mr Moses Magogo, president of the Federation of Uganda FA and member of the Confederation of African Football Executive Committee, and the chairperson of the investigatory chamber,” read in part the communication in October 2019.
“An investigation into Mr Magogo was opened on 23 July 2018 related to the resale of 2014 Fifa World Cup™ tickets.
“In accordance with Article 67 par.1 of the Fifa Code of Ethics, the parties have mutually agreed on the following sanctions: A fine of $10,000 (about Shs37 million).
“(And) a two-month suspension from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level.”
Magogo returned to office after the suspension and has continued serving normally, even being confident enough to expand his wings in politics, hencing holding two public offices as MP for Budiope East and Fufa president.
His re-election, that is set for final stamping – as a sole candidate - by the Fufa Delegates next month, remains controversial since by plea bargain, he had admitted to breaching Ethics Code.