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Namboole Stadium Shs98bn Renovations Set To Kickoff, Unsatisfied ‘Encroachers’ Told To Go To Court

Part of the perimeter wall that surrounds Kireka Zone B

The Ministry of Education and Sports has revealed that the Shs97Bn renovations and refurbishment of Mandela National Stadium in Namboole will be starting soon following the release of funds to the Ministry of Education and Sports two weeks ago.

 

The revelation was made by Denis Obua, State Minister for Sports during the plenary sitting on Thursday, where he was responding to a question raised by Francis Katabazi (Kalungu East), who tasked the Minister to update Parliament on the renovation works going on at Namboole.

“Of course we had Nakivuubo, I don’t know how far you have gone but it has taken ages, we have no where to enjoy football from, Namboole I heard there were soldiers, other stadia, I don’t know what is happening,” Katabazi said.

 

In response, Obua said the Ministry had received funds to kick start the renovation and there are scheduled meetings with stakeholders to agree on how works will be undertaken.

 

He added:  “One or two weeks ago, Mandela National Stadium received the approved supplementary funding towards the starting of renovation and upgrade. I have called a stakeholders meeting in order for us to meet and agree in terms of time by the UPDF engineering team because soon, we shall be completing the wall fence.”

 

It is worth noting that during the consideration of the 2022/2023 national budget, the Ministry of Education sought additional funding for Shs30Bn for Namboole refurbishment and this was on top of the Shd67Bn supplementary budget Parliament had approved, out of the required Shs98Bn to renovate the stadium to international standards.

 

The Minister also informed Parliament that Uganda has earmarked two stadia to be constructed and these include; Akii Bua Olympics Stadium in Lira and Buhinga in Kabarole and the two stadia were shortlisted under a Japanese grant.

 

“As Ministry of Education and Sports, we executed all our roles and responsibilities, all studies were done, all submissions were made and we are waiting for availability of funds from Ministry of Finance because that’s the only process. I believe this Parliament should be able to extend this question to the Ministry of Finance because as Education, we are done, ” said Obua.

 

In April 2021, Minister Obua revealed plans by Government of Uganda to hire the private facility of St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende  as temporary home of Uganda Cranes, the national football team to host its international matches and training after both the Confederation of African Federation (CAF) and Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) slapped a ban on Mandela National Stadium-Namboole after failing an earlier inspection test.

 

The ban prompted calls from Ministry of Education and Sports to the Ministry of Works and Transport to constitute a team to conduct needs assessment and recommended upgrade for the stadium and the two teams agreed on the Shs96Bn as an indicative planning figure but more funds will be required for complete works.

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) engineering brigade that is currently undertaking the Shs3. 8Bn fencing works of the stadium will also be in charge of the refurbishment works.

 

In a related development, Obua has told off residents around Mandela National Stadium in Namboole who are facing eviction for encroaching on the sports facility land to go to court and seek redress instead of attempting to derail the work of UPDF engineering brigade.

 

The Minister said that Mandela National Stadium is a public facility that has been in existence since 1997 that Government is simply holding the land in custody of the public and the said land has a land title

 

He explained, “The wall fence which is being erected by the UPDF engineering brigade is being erected on land which falls within the land title of Mandela National Stadium.  Before the process started, there was a joint boundary reopening according to the land title in the presence of all stakeholders and not at night, but during the day. If anyone feels that he has any action against us, the laws of Uganda are clear because we are erecting a wall fence on a public facility with a land title where all due process was executed.”

 

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