MPs call for establishment of regional stadiums

Lawmakers have asked Government to establish sports stadiums in the different regions of Uganda.

The call followed the presentation and debate of a report by Parliament's Education and Sports Committee on the failure by Government to secure a Chinese grant to construct Buhinga and Akii-Bua stadiums in Kabarole and Lira districts, respectively.

In the report, the Committee recommended that the Ministry of Education and Sports develops a proper master plan for all regional stadia, to enhance infrastructure development.

Hon. Alex Ruhunda (NRM, Fort Portal Central Division) said establishing sports stadiums across the country can improve sports tourism, given that the vast majority of Ugandans take interest in soccer.

“I have seen the Ministry of Finance bringing loans for other projects and I see no reason why we cannot get loans to finance Buhinga, Akii-Bua and other stadiums,” said Ruhunda.

Sheema District Woman MP Hon. Rosemary Nyakikongoro made a call for the rehabilitation of existing local stadiums in districts which she said can contribute to the collection of non-tax revenue.

Hon. Geofrey Kayemba (NUP, Bukomansimbi South) called on government to consider offering financial support towards improvement of private sports facilities.

“We have stadiums like St Mary's Kitende and KCCA Lugogo stadium. Why doesn't government set up a budget to support these private investors because they can in turn develop talents in this country,” Kayemba said.

Hon. Susan Amero (Ind., Amuria District) and Hon. Gilbert Olanya (FDC, Kilak South) said establishment of sports stadiums in the major regions of Uganda will ensure that youth engage in more productive activities.

Hon. Moses Magogo (NRM, Budiope East) moved a motion without notice under Rule 59 of the Rules of Procedure, calling on Parliament to support Uganda's bid to host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2027.

“The football federations of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to make a joint bid to bring Africa to East Africa for the first time in 66 years. When we host, issues discussed about stadiums will be automatically absorbed because there will be a requirement for us to improve on the infrastructure we have,” Magogo added.

The proposal was adopted by the House.

The State Minister for Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang, reiterated an earlier position that government is committed to supporting sports infrastructure development in Uganda.

“I have instructed the National Council of Sports under the guidance of my senior minister, to move around the country to identify and meet local leaders, to ascertain the question of land,” he said.