Sport is an industry world over and on our continent #Nigeria and #SouthAfrica collect a lot of taxes from their athletes, which monies help to transform their economies. And some of these athletes have big businesses in their countries and this means they are employing a number of people and in turn pay more taxes to their governments. It is only fair that African governments wake up from their big slumber and invest in the sports industry by building infrastructure across their countries and this will contribute to nurturing of more talent from our young people.
The Sports Industry is another untapped sector that the NRM regime has totally ignored, but talent has continued to blossom from hardships and what really bothers me is that when an athlete who has toiled from scratch brings a medal home, it is the same regime that wants photo ops from these athletes, it is the same regime that doesn’t contribute to the sector, but wants to prepare diner appointments for the Champions so that they can do their political speeches and tell the nation that it is their regime that has supported the sport or athlete. This kind of hypocrisy hurts deep to the bones.
Today in The New Vision there is a screaming headline on the back page about Nakivubo Stadium’s land being given away by Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA and Nakivubo Management, but where is the so called ‘NRM Government’ in all this? If they are not aiding the partition of Nakivubo land, then what are they doing? I come from Kira Town Council where Mandela National Stadium – Namboole is located I have seen the grabbing of land around that belongs to the stadium and this is insane to me because a government that believes that sport has a future in Uganda would have moved in to stop the land grabbing and punished culprits involved.
As a young man I grew up playing at the Tobacco Stadium in Walukuba a stadium that hosted matches for BAT FC that contributed stars for the Uganda Cranes of 1990s, I scored my first competitive goal in that stadium, when BAT FC had done away with the Football business, they donated the stadium to Jinja Municipal Council. This was a gift to the community of Walukuba- Masese Division and indeed after that it nurtured stars including Simeon Massa, Jimmy Kidega, Geofrey Massa, Dhaira Abel,Isabirye Alex Musongola, etc If BAT had sold the land where this stadium is located would we have seen this talent today. Geofrey Massa is Uganda Cranes number one striker and there is no doubt about that. Jinja Municipal Council without shame has sold all the land surrounding the stadium and the NRM regime did nothing about this and to me that is a response enough that this regime has no policy on sport as a sector, but they are quick to climb on its hard earned success when it is available. Enough of this pretense!
My anger on this topic comes from today’s debate on the She Cranes that without a penny went ahead and qualified for the Netball World Cup and the members of Parliament of Uganda said this;
Speaker Kadaga: We have independence celebrations and I demand that She Cranes be recognized as Heroes.
LoP Wafula Oguttu : Instead of lamenting each time She Cranes comes to parliament, we have powers to appropriate money for sports.
Hon Winnie Kiiza: I request that members of parliament do appreciate the She Cranes by contributing at least UGX100, 000 each for them.
Hon. Latif Ssebagala : I don’t want to turn this house into a charity organisation when it’s mandate of parliament to appropriate money for sports. How can State House entertainment budget cost UGX60bn when She Cranes don’t have money ;what kind of entertainment is this?
Looking at the quality of the debate tells you how our Parliament also does not have an eye to see what sports can do to a nation and its economy. If Parliament has the power to appropriate the National Budget why don’t they compel government to look at sport? Why do they collect monies from themselves as if the citizens of this country are not paying taxes. The way the NRM Regime treats sports is a NO NO to me.
The She Cranes are indeed heroes for the Ugandan Tax payers, but not to the political class! Shame on NRM Regime! Thank you my sisters for standing out you made us proud.