I have not read the whole Vision 2040, but if at all the vision lacks anything to do with the Sports then this is indeed a dead dream. World over sport is more than a discipline but an industry where billions of dollars are being invested and the world’s biggest brands like Nike, Coca Cola, Heineken, Orange Telecom, Virgin Money, Rolex, etc rush to leverage for space to associate with sport.
When I was growing up in a small town called Jinja in eastern Uganda, I enjoyed to see sportsmen like Charles Jalendo, Steven Bogere and many others who through their talent earned a living and by then companies like BAT Uganda Limited, Nile Breweries Limited, Uganda Grain Milling Limited and Nytil all had football teams. When privatization caught up with many of these industries, sports was cut out to cater for the small budget or the new investor who had bought the industry saw no reason to invest in sports.
In the late 90s, many of these teams started to vanish completely off the face of the football scene, because the fans of these clubs couldn’t do much to support their teams financially in order to run the clubs and maintain the players. And this saw players like Dhaira Bright and many more joining KCC FC.
Football stadiums followed suit, in these include Tobacco stadium in Jinja located in Walukuba Masese, this was the home of Tobacco (BAT) FC, a team that had players like Dhaira Bright, Leti and many. Tobacco stadium according to engineers that worked on it said; this stadium was best in Uganda because it was built in a swamp area, there are pipes built beneath it inorder to help drain the water off the pitch after a heavy down pour. But the stadium started dying out when it was not maintained as it was supposed to for along hence the blocking of the pipes.
Currently it is facing land grabbers who have not spared its extension land meant for futures plans to make it a bigger and better stadium something that Jinja Municipal Council did not fight to protect but aided the land grabbing. This exposes government through the Ministry of Education and sports who have continuously carried out business without a sports policy in the land.
Tobacco Stadium is not the only but sports grounds are being mortgaged throughout the country without providing an alternative. Government now banks on Namboole Stadium which is also being used for its intended purposes hence destroying it.
The Vision 2040 if without a sport plan for this country is a dead dream that puts Uganda in the 18th Century. The increasing unemployment gap in the country can be addressed through aiding and financing the sports sector just like other government sectors.
What the legislature can do for Ugandans is to form into law a sports policy for the sports industry. This will empower the industry with the authority to look for investors in that category to come and invest in Uganda. The sports sector is powerless and orphaned without the executive and legislative arm forming a law to protect and regulate business in the industry; there will be no changes in sports in this country without a sport policy.