NCS Refuses To Implement Parliament Decision On Funding Allocation

By Emmanuel Sekago

The remarkable performance by Uganda’s national netball team, the She Cranes re-ignited discussions on the prioritization of the sports sector with Parliament directing the government to ensure funds allocated in the 2022-2023 financial year are released.

Speaker Anita Anne Among Magogo tasked the Ministry of Finance to give a timeline in which the funds for the first and second quarters will be released.

Boxers in action at the ongoing novices in Lugogo

It should be noted that Parliament of Uganda on June 27th 2022, ring-fenced money for sports, with Football appropriated with UGX 17bn, Athletics, Boxing and Netball each UGX 3bn, Cricket, Rugby, Basketball, Paralympics and Motorsport each UGX 1.2bn, Badminton, Chess, Cycling, Golf, Handball, Hockey, Kickboxing, Pool, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis, University Sports, Volleyball and Wood ball each UGX 0.2bn and Others with UGX 900 million totaling to UGX 35.9bn.

Fans watching Boxing novices at Lugogo

Surprisingly the money was not released as per what was appropriated. Wallnet website understand that the monies released to sports federations both for quarter one and two can’t even help the sports federations and associations run their activities and we break down for you what each received from National council of sports, Archery UGX 14M, Boxing UGX 133M, Rugby UGX 681M, FUFA UGX 2.8BN, Table Tennis UGX 69M, Wood ball UGX 83M, Motorsport UGX 100M, Chess UGX 35M, Cycling UGX 14M, Basketball UGX 435M, University Sports UGX 83M to name a few.

By calculations of the funds going by the parliament allocation to some of the sports federations given for quarter one and two; Boxing, Netball and Athletics each would have earned UGX 1.5BN while Federation of Uganda football associations (FUFA) with UGX 8.5BN.

Uganda boxing federation Moses Muhangi whom we found gracing the ongoing Uganda boxing novices at Lugogo grounds had no kind words at all on matters of funds allocation to the body.

“Even when the Parliament of Uganda ring-fenced UGX 3bn for boxing this year. Meaning every quarter we would be getting approximately UGX 750m as a subvention to support our activities.

Since 1st and 2nd quarter financial year 2022-2023 NCS under the wise guidance of Ogwel has sent to Uganda Boxing Federation only UGX 133m, meaning every quarter subvention support is UGX 66.5m for boxing. Where Parliament preferred boxing to receive UGX 750m, the National Council of sports contested and only gave us UGX 66.5m per quarter,” said Muhangi.

“This is why some of us believe that someone in NCS is on a mission to kill off the sport of boxing, and his only hope is in the state minister for sports and Member of Parliament for Ngariam county Hon Ogwang Peter to save the beloved sport of boxing,” he added.

It should be noted that on November 25th 2021 the Government chief whip Rt Hon Hamson Denis Obua, by then the Minister for State for Sports, called on legislators to support the sports sector with more funding.

Rth Hon Obua made the appeal while responding to Members’ concerns while paying tribute to the National Netball team, the She Cranes for their outstanding performance in the pent series and Africa Games held in Windhoek, Namibia.

“The budget is before this House and if the sports sector is given more money, we can do better. While we had little funds, the teams have made us proud; best in East Africa, sixth in the world. What would they do if we had more funds in sports?” he asked.

He added that, ‘hard times do not create heroes but it is during the hard time that the hero within us is created’.

“Heroes in the sports sector are going through this phase. We have submitted a budget that will total to Shs96 billion. Let us rally behind them so that our sports men and women continue to make us proud,” he added.

In that sitting at parliament, Nakaseke District Woman MP, Hon Sarah Najjuma requested that the Minister for Sports to follow up on the promises that were made by the President in 2017.

“The She Cranes emerged the African champions and as has been the practice, the President did promise them UGX 10 million each which was never fulfilled. Is it because it is a women’s team?” She asked.

Budiope East Member of parliament who is also the President of the federation of Uganda Football associations (FUFA), Hon Eng Moses Magogo said the budget should be increased to UGX 100 billion to help the different sports fraternities.

“Netball is a sport for both men and women, and so is football; and both have national teams. The UGX 10 billion that FUFA gets goes to the National Council of Sports and is ring-fenced. Nonetheless, why can’t the ministry ask for a budget of UGX 100 billion to cover all the fraternities?” He said.

The Leader of the Opposition, Hon Mathias Mpuuga said that it is time to support sports as a whole.

“We need to invest in regional sports arenas. The land grabbers have threatened and we need to invest on this land by developing it. Let us make provisions for various sports disciplines and not just football,” he said.

Speaker Jacob Oulanyah (RIP) who chaired the House said Uganda needs commitment to see this through.

“It is only by the Grace of God that we shall accomplish. We are missing our own commitment, so let us inspire ourselves to do better for this sector to grow. Let us act,” said Oulanyah.

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