On July 9, 2017, the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Mutebi officially opened the 2017 Bika Football Tournament. The match took place at Nakisunga Ggombolola playground in Kyaggwe County. In the knock-out opening match, Ngeye Clan beat Embogo 2-0 goals, which were scored by Dickson Kagimu and Tom Masiko in the 50th and 51th minutes respectively.
Before kick-off, there was a minute of silence to honor the former Bika Football Committee chairperson, late John Ssebaana Kizito, who was laid to rest on July 8, 2017 (See: John Ssebaana Kizito, Muganda with longest combined careers in politics and business, dies at 83).
In what appeared to be a positive change, the 2017 opening match was officiated by women. However, for unclear reasons, the referees were all non-Baganda. The main referee was Annah Akoi and the assistants were Dorcas Atuhairwe and Jane Mutonyi.
There are Baganda women referees in the Kingdom. But a source close to Mengo told BugandaWatch that, giving non-Baganda advantages is part of Mengo’s current strategy of survival by pleasing the ruling class, and it includes constantly showing that Mengo opposes Baganda nationalism.
The opening ceremony was also attended by the Namasole of Buganda, Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga, many Abataka abakulu ab’obusolya, Masaza Chiefs and Lukiiko members. The tournament continues this week.
Kabaka Mutebi meeting the Ngeye team