Uganda Cranes players have reportedly threatened not to take part in the next Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and World Cup qualifiers if the money isn’t the Shs1bn pledge made by President Yoweri Museveni following their performance in the 2019 Afcon held in Cairo, Egypt isn’t paid, Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) has said.
The lawmaker took to the floor during today’s plenary sitting to task Government to explain when the pledge would be fulfilled.
In response, former Minister of State for Sports, Charles Bakkabulindi told off Ssewanyana that a presidential pledge isn’t a do or die matter and that the complaint should have been brought to Parliament by Cranes players or management of Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA).
“I think it was a presidential pledge which isn’t a force. I think it would have been proper if you had brought complaint from players themselves or FUFA leadership,” Bakkabulindi said.
However, Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North) told off Bakkabulindi that there are rules that govern government assurances and warned the former Minister against minimizing a presidential directive.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga concurred with Kasibante firing back at Bakkabulindi saying, “Once fountain of honour declares something as supporting young people it must be done. In other circumstances, it is a decree.”
Bernard Atiku (Ayiivu County) told Parliament that it takes long for athletes to receive pledges that come whenever they have made the country proud because the process of obtaining the pledges is overshadowed with corruption and gave an example of Dorcus Inzikuru who hasn’t received her vehicle almost a decade after she was promised.
David Bahati, State Minister Planning thanked Ssewanyana for reminding Government about the pledge, saying that when the president makes pledge it is posted in the system and [promised to follow up the matter.
“The president has tried as much as possible to support sports in this country and have no doubt this pledge will be honoured,” he said.
Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County) tasked Bahati to explain under which budget the pledges will be fulfilled arguing that Government expenditure is through a budget it isn’t that the president has money in the sack.
“I expected the custodian of the budget to say this money has been budgeted for such that we actually know where the money is. What sort of system are we talking about? Let us not degenerate into trading center talk. Tell us which vote is it part of ministry or State House,” asked Katuntu.
Bahati said that the Ministry of Finance provided money to State House through donations.