Wandera Charles, veteran Kickboxing referee
By: Nsereko Musoke Isa
The Uganda Kickboxing Federation (UKF) recently rubbished the claims of the referee, Mr. Charles Wandera, that he was meant to be the center referee in the ‘Fight of the Century’ that featured Golola Moses and Umar Semata.
Wandera further noted that the decision by the center referee on the day, Mr. Abbey Kigozi, to declare Golola the winner of the fight was wrong, alleging foul play on Semata.
After losing an epic rematch against Moses Golola by a technical knockout on Saturday 3rd, August 2019 at Freedom City, Umar Semata’s camp organized a press conference and asked for another rematch against Golola, with bitter statements made against the decision by the referee and judges to declare their opponent (Golola) the winner of the bout.
In the same press conference held at Grand Global Hotel, Makerere on Monday 5th, August 2019, the veteran referee in Mr. Wandera, whose code of conduct is still in question with UKF, continued to exhibit a “lack of professionalism” by contributing in a fighter’s camp, which shows partisan elements in someone that should be a neutral servant of the sport.
“I was supposed to be the center referee of that fight but as I told you, in the federation, am like a statue. I have no authority. I just found out at the last moment that another referee will judge,” said Wandera.
“But as I saw the fight, Golola did what is unacceptable and I saw the referee disqualifying the fight but the judges never believed in him. Even if you go and re-watch the fight, it was supposed to be disqualified and lift Semata as the winner,” a furious Wandera added.
In response to his claims, the UKF deemed his act as “unprofessional, false, and frivolous”, and takes it as unnecessary and a stumbling block to the growth and development of the sport.
The federation also cleared his lies of being a ‘chairman of the referees’ committee’, which the sport’s top authority affirm to have never been in existence.
“There is no such a committee at the federation, since we only had three referees. Our major efforts were to increase on the number of referees, which we have done, and are only waiting for their international certification to set them to duties, and later, such a committee will be formed,” reads the federation statement.
“Wandera’s confession that he was forced to declare Golola the winner in early fights during the late Hassan Sekirime’s (RIP) leadership doesn’t put him in good light as a credible professional, and we could not assign him onto duties as we examine his conduct,” the federation statement further reads.
The controversial Charles Wandera has been the center referee in most of the fights Golola won, and claimed that on his [Golola’s] last two fights, that is, against Hungarian kickboxer, Andreas Nagy, and the Egyptian, Golola never fairly won against the two fighters, but Wandera was forced by the judges to lift Golola Moses as the winner.