In normal circumstances, Rajiv Ruparelia wouldn’t have been announced the Kabalega rally winner and his money (ugsh500,000) shall be refunded soonest as he had paid as a fine due to his infringement which gained him advantage over the rest of the crews.
Rajiv car got a mechanical issue in the first section control and he opened the bonnet to fix the mechanical issue and this is the kind of infringement that would have definitely led to his disqualification straight away from the rally. But Anthony Mugambwa, a co-driver to Ronald Ssebuguzi said that their petition was just rejected by the COC which wasn’t in his jurisdiction.
However, according to a report of the event, Clark of course Mr Katende Mukiibi, the accusers lacked substantive evidence that would implicate Rajiv in the infringement case.
“One of the safety marshals, one Wamala, brought a shallow report that had no evidence. His report was reading that, he saw Rajiv’s bonnet open and cautioned him,” said Katende who added that, that wasn’t enough to implicate Rajiv
But as Clark of the course decided to penalize Rajiv with Ugsh500, 000 for he didn’t want Rajiv to make rally organisers lose much time on Rajiv’s case and Federation gave out a receipt upon receiving that money.
But Mr Katende Mukiibi has recommended Rajiv to be given back his money as there was no reason why he paid the fine after revising the decision. But also is the appeal filed in by Mugambwa, he was challenging the decision by the COC to award a cash/fine penalty.
But some of the rally orgainisers have a thought that this might have been a conspiracy since UMOSPOC the actors and organisers of this Kabalega rally had initially rejected to associate with safety marshals assigned to the job by the federation, but interestingly safety marshals like a one Wamala on instructions of the federation were part in the rally.
Mukiibi says that he was still waiting for any photo of any kind to release final verdict on Rajiv’s win but it’s now a week and some days he is yet to receive any photo or video in that regard showing Rajiv in the control section fixing the mechanical problem.
Incidentally, if there were few people where the incident occurred, there were 15+people including spectators but nobody is ready to bring out that evidence.
If the stewards can find substantive evidence, Rajiv’s win shall definitely be nullified and Duncan Mubiru will be the rally boardroom winner hence claiming his maiden national rally Championship at least over ten years since he began his motor rallying career.
According to the competition rules, fixing a mechanical problem not on safety grounds, it’s a straight exclusion from the rally, a penalty Rajiv Ruparelia had to face.
Rajiv Ruparelia said that, it’s the way losers to respond to winners. The stewards have set Friday 5th November 2021 to review the rally at MTN Arena in Lugogo.