Wife Wants Ouma Pardon

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(Ouma’s wife, Cassie shown with their child).
Former International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior middleweight champion Kassim Ouma’s wife has made a passionate plea for the pardoning of her husband against charges of deserting the army.

American Cassie Jamison, in the company of her child Rahim Oundo and members of Ouma’s family including national boxer Hamza Wandera told a press conference at the National Council of Sports (NCS) yesterday she was concerned about Ouma’s predicament. “I am here on Kassim’s concerns about his pardoning by government for his deserting the army and would love to leave the country tomorrow with a clear stand,� she said.

Jamison, who has been in the country since August 30 to visit Ouma’s family added, “It has been a great time seeing where Kassim has come from. His people, mostly his grandmother whom he dearly misses and the good people at large. Kassim has always looked forward to coming back to his country but has not yet had clearance from government.�

She said 27-year-old Kassim promises to still raise the Ugandan flag high wherever he enters the ring. Florida-based Ouma joined the Ugandan army as a “Kadogo,� the Kiswahili term for child soldier in the mid 1980s and later joined the army’s boxing team. When the team competed in the World Military Boxing Championship in San Antonio, Texas, in 1998, he was able to get his passport. He fled, first to Kenya, then back to the United States.

Ouma won the IBF title in 2004 but the Ugandan government issued a press release declaring Ouma a deserter, saying he would be arrested if he returned. However sources close to the Joint Chief of Staff in the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF), as the national army is known, and the Uganda Professional Boxing Commission (UPBC) intimated there was not as much interest in pursuing the professional boxer and that he would soon be declared free.

Ssebaggala writes for The Black Star News from Uganda.

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