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Sports Minister Ogwang Summoned Regarding Namboole Rehabilitation Works

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Sports State Minister Peter Ogwang has been instructed to provide Parliament with an update on the ongoing rehabilitation works at Mandela National Stadium. Speaker of Parliament Anita Among issued this directive during Thursday’s plenary session.

The decision to summon Minister Ogwang stemmed from a procedural matter raised by Opposition Chief Whip John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya County) concerning the recent pre-inspection report on the sports facility.

Nambeshe highlighted that while renovations are still underway both inside and outside the stadium, Mandela National Stadium has been excluded from hosting upcoming World Cup qualifiers. This exclusion may force the national soccer team to once again host its matches abroad.

Nambeshe cited a report by Muhammad F. Sidat, head of professional football at Africa’s football governing body (CAF), which indicated that the stadium had not been approved for hosting FIFA World Cup United 2026 qualifiers.

Uganda is scheduled to host Botswana on June 3 and Algeria a week later in the World Cup qualifiers this year. Failure to expedite the stadium’s completion may jeopardize these hosting opportunities.

Several Members of Parliament expressed their concerns over the delays and the potential consequences. Kumi Municipality MP Silas Aogon emphasized that excuses from authorities would not be tolerated, and failure to meet deadlines might result in consequences for those responsible.

Erute South MP Jonathan Odur criticized the government’s perceived lack of seriousness, especially in meeting deadlines and fulfilling promises made to the public.

Additionally, Odur highlighted the broader implications of the delays, noting that incomplete renovations might impact Uganda’s chances of hosting future tournaments such as the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the African Nations Championship (CHAN).

Speaker Among acknowledged the financial challenges posed by the situation, particularly considering the discomfort of some teams in playing at Uganda Cranes’ proposed home ground in Morocco.

Government Chief Whip Denis Hamson Obua informed Parliament of an ongoing meeting chaired by Minister Ogwang, with representation from the UPDF, the current contractor for the stadium’s rehabilitation.

In light of these developments, Obua extended an invitation to fellow lawmakers to visit Namboole Stadium and observe the progress firsthand.

Source: The Ankole Times

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