President Museveni and First Lady hosted Uganda’s contingent that has just returned from the Commonwealth Games in Australia, to a luncheon at State House Entebbe on Sunday.
The president particularly congratulated; Joshua Cheptegei, Stella Chesang, Mercyline Chelangat, Solomon Mutai and Juma Miiro who got medals for Uganda.
‘‘These are NRM children. Mutai, at 26, is the oldest of them’’ the president said. President Museveni and NRM captured power in 1986.
The president also said medalist will be enrolled on payroll and will start earning UGX. 5m for gold medalist, UGX. 3m for the silver medalists and UGX. 1m for the bronze medalist and the arrears will be cleared
Mr. Museveni revealed that he will also build a house for Cheptegei and Chesang who won gold medals,’’ like I have done for previous gold medalists’’ he said.
The president promised to discuss with the relevant authorities the issue of taxes on sports equipments. ‘‘We must work towards manufacturing these equipments in Uganda. Why should we import balls when we have leather here? And this will help create jobs here instead of exporting employment opportunities to other countries.’’ The president said. Adding that he has heard some people writing that NRM government is harvesting where it did not sow, that these children are getting medals by miracle. ‘‘That is not true. The last time Uganda did well in Commonwealth Games was in 1970 and that was the last time Uganda was stable.’’
Uganda was ranked 15th at the 2018 Commonweaqlth Games , out of the 71 countries that took part Having won 3 Gold medals, 1 Silver medal and 2 Bronze medals.
He advised sports administrators to identify talent and attach them to institutions like police, prisons or the army where they are assured of a house, a salary even if modest, and technical support.
On the question of resources, the president said that whereas this is true, ‘‘we have limited resources but we can plan and use them rationally for effective results. Uganda was not the most resourced team in Australia but won medals. Some better resourced countries left empty-handed.’’ He said.
He also called on sports manager to pay attention to the health of athletes and their nutrition. ‘‘I saw some footballers kicking balls lazily. They need energy. Coupled with this is training (teamwork) and being disciplined. Shun alcohol and umalaya.’’He observed.
He added: we can also exploit the heritage of the people of the Savanah in middle races while those from central can make good boxers because of their physique. The people of Kalangala would make good rowers and swimmers. Scouts should look at these heritages then identify talents.