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Onduparak contests change in management of Arua Green Light Stadium

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A disagreement has emerged between Ayivu Division authorities and Onduparaka Football Club (FC) over the proposed takeover of the management of Green Light Stadium in Arua City.

The development comes just two days after Emmanuel Angudubo, the City Division Town Clerk for Ayivu wrote a letter dated 23, June 2023, indicating that the division has taken over the management of the facility with immediate effect.

“Onduparaka football club will no longer manage the playground as it has been before until further notes. Any stakeholder interested in conducting activities on the playground shall seek permission from the city division town clerk who is the accounting officer of the entity”, the letter reads in part.

Preliminary reports indicate that the disagreement over the management of the stadium came to the limelight after Maureen Osoru, the Arua City Woman Member of Parliament requested the management of Onduparaka Football Club to use the stadium to host Anita Among, the Speaker of Parliament on June 18, 2023.

Although the permission was granted by the stadium management committee, Osoru allegedly rejected the offer on the grounds that she had identified an alternative venue at the adjacent football ground next to Onduparaka Catholic church to host the venue.

However, in a letter dated June 24, 2023, written by Michael Achidri, the Onduparaka FC Chief Executive Officer, the club asserts that they will continue to manage the facility in accordance with the existing mutual agreement with Madi and West Nile diocese, the custodian of the land hosting the stadium.

“In the absence of legal ownership documents by the division sanctioned by the courts of law, the club will continue to manage the said property in accordance with the existing mutual agreement”, Achidri noted in his letter.

The club has further threatened to take legal redress against Marlon Avutia, the mayor of Ayivu division over alleged criminal trespass into the stadium. It is alleged that on 22 June 2023 at around 10:00 am, Avutia, and security personnel cut the padlocks of the three gates to the stadium and began to clear the playing field for unknown purposes.

“Trespass to land is criminal and we believe the actions described above tantamount to criminal trespass for which the club will consider legal action and seek legal redress for the cost of restoration, physical damage to property, loss of property, announce and discomfort, and emotional distress”, Achidri state in his letter.

Since 2010, Greenlight Stadium has been legally managed by Onduparaka FC through a mutual agreement with the church of Uganda which possess the legal ownership documents of the property.

Onduparaka Football Club was relegated from the Star Times Uganda Premier League in May last month following a 1-0 defeat at Maroons.

The West Nile-based club gained promotion to the Ugandans top flight league during the 2015/2016 season.