Traditional healer, businesswoman and community leader Sophia Namutebi, also known as Maama Fiina, has pledged to help troubled weightlifter Julius Sekitoleko earn income days after he left Police detention.
Ssekitoleko says he left for Japan with hopes that he would make enough money to pay rent and other debts. He also hoped to recover the money he had used to pay for requirements for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after selling his motorcycle.
This was revealed by NTV journalist Ruth Kalibala who hosted the weightlifter on the Luganda morning talkshow Mwasuze Mutya.
Maama Fiina is known as a generous person to those who have been close to her and she often gives out money to those who please and put a smile on her face.
She also supports those who are in need and recently, she was spotted supporting individuals in her village with foodstuffs to take them through this lockdown period.
Sekitoleko had been in police custody since Friday 23rd July 2021, when he was deported from Japan after he disappeared from the Ugandan Olympic team’s training camp in Izumisano, in Osaka, Japan.
The athlete’s wife, Desire Nampeewo, who is five months pregnant, told journalists she hoped that the government would “rehabilitate” her husband. Nampeewo said she was surprised that officials want to charge him instead.
She said life has not been easy for the athlete as he isn’t financially stable, his life has been a struggle, he sleeps on the floor and doesn’t have enough food suitable for an athlete. She said he really wanted to participate but lost his mind when he was told he didn’t qualify and started wandering unconsciously. She said he even wanted to kill himself.
Why authorities are interested
His case is odd, as Sekitoleko did not qualify for the Ugandan Olympic team, and no one can explain why he was flown to Tokyo.
Sekitoleko competes in the elite category of 56 and 57 kilograms and has previously represented Uganda in tournaments in Kenya, Morocco and Australia. He did not qualify for this year’s Olympics.
Charles Twiine, spokesperson for Criminal Investigations Department, told journalists Monday that an investigation was launched to determine why Sekitoleko was flown to Japan with his coach.
“What is visibly clear here, is that there’s a probable fraud of airlifting a person with full knowledge that he had not qualified. To go and participate well knowing he is not going to participate. Now the fundamental question is, was he part of the fraud as a conspirator and it’s the reason why we are having him,” Twiine said.
It is not clear what charges may be filed against Sekitoleko.