KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni’s upcoming five-year term office will priotise sports with a view of creating an enabling environment that would decrease the exportation of talents to other countries.
The President revealed the plans for sports on Thursday evening at State House- Entebbe while hosting former Uganda Cranes captain- Denis Masinde Onyango, whom he had invited for recognition, following his retirement from the national team after 16 years of dedicated service.
Mr Museveni noted Ugandans with excellent sporting talents were (increasingly) becoming a source of entertainment in other countries, yet they could offer the same service, here.
President Museveni will on Wednesday, May 12 take oath of office to lead the country for the next five years, following the January 14 General Elections, in which he won a sixth term after amassing 58.64% of the total number of valid votes cast.
“I congratulate Onyango for what he has done. We shall get time in the new government to decide on this export scheme – whether it is good or bad.
“We need to decide on what we can do to keep our sportsmen here,’ President Museveni told his guests as he responded to concerns from the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports – Janet Kataha Museveni about the ‘sports cadres,’ who were leaving the country for greener pastures.
President Museveni noted that government should consider supporting sports heroes, who retire by offering them bursaries to go for further studies so as to acquire employment in other field of their choice or recruit them in the civil service.
“At 35, a sportsman can still serve the country for another 20 years if deployed in civil service or given bursaries to train in higher institutions of learning in a discipline of their choice,” suggested Mr Museveni.
The President praised Onyango as well as the entire athletics fraternity for hoisting the Ugandan flag on the world scene through sports.
“We thank you sports people. Though the Government has not been supporting you fully, we support you indirectly through immunisation, UPE, peace and security, which enables the development of your talents,” he weighed in with his politics’ approach.
He noted that after finalizing with priorities, government would embark on supporting sports through the construction of stadia.
The President took time off to remind Ugandans the importance of working, not only for the ‘stomach’ but ‘filling their pockets’ as well so that the country can attain middle-class income status, emphasizing that such a situation would enable various categories of people to support sports activities.
“When people have enough money in their pockets, they can use the surplus for entertainment,” Fufa official website, quoted the President as saying.
Onyango, who turned up at the function in the company of his mother and sister, revealed that he was
retiring from local football at 35 years to pave way for the young generation. He expressed his gratitude towards government for unwavering support during his service as the national team’s custodian.
The President, as a token of appreciation, handed Onyango a brand new Pajero Sport – estimated at Ugx300m on the Ugandan market.
Besides, Fufa Supremo – Eng. Moses Magogo, the federation’s vice presidents – Justus Mugisha, and Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi as well as the CEO Edgar Waston were also in attendance.
Others included the Minister of State Sports Hon. Hamson Denis Obua; UOC President Dr. Donald Rukare and NCS General Secretary Dr. Patrick Bernard Ogwel.