The Committee on Education and Sports has proposed that the National Council of Sports (NCS), be granted right of ownership of all sports facilities in the country.
While considering the National Sports Bill, 2021, legislators were dismayed that the majority of the sports facilities are run down with local governments delegating the maintenance of the facilities to politicians.
“Some of us own football clubs; now the town clerk of my district was tasking me to take over maintenance of sports facilities,” said the committee chairperson, John Ntamuhiira.
MPs said that with the right of ownership, the council will cease to depend on the meagre funding from government as it will collect revenue from the different events hosted in the sports fields.
“National Council of Sports must own land for all the sports fields as it is the case with the neighbouring countries; in that way, you will be able to collect fees from events that take place in stadia. We want to see an enterprising council that is self-sustaining,” said Busia Municipality MP Geoffrey Macho.
Kalungu West MPJoseph Ssewungu, elaborated that when the facilities are handed over to the NCS, they will be able to get alternative funding.
“If the council gets these properties, they can apply for loans even from government and mobilise funds externally. Once we grant ownership to the council, you will see the sports flourishing in this country,” Ssewungu said.
Legislators were also concerned about the continued grabbing of the land belonging to the different sports federations around the country.
“The land in Tororo District that was donated to the sports sector by the government of former President, Idi Amin has been taken away by a politician. We want the council to take full charge of these properties, Uganda Investment Authority owns all land under its jurisdiction, Uganda Manufacturers Association owns land tittles, the council must also own land,” said Macho.
The Secretary General of the NCS, Bernard Ogwel, said he was been advised by the Attorney General, that ownership of public land according to the constitution is vested in the Uganda Land Commission or the district land boards.
MPs, however, shunned the Attorney General’s guidance saying other government entities own land.
The NCS Chairperson, Ambrose Tashobya, said the council was on course with the upgrade of Lugogo Indoor Stadium to international standards.
“Every time we want to host sports as a region, we end up with Rwanda because we do not meet international standards,” Tashobya said.