Uganda: Now Govt Turns to China for Construction of Akii Bua Stadium

Government has resorted to seeking for financial assistance from China for the construction of Akii Bua olympic stadium.

This was revealed on Thursday as officials from the ministry of Education and Sports led by the minister Janet Museveni appeared before parliament's Education Committee to present their policy statement for the coming financial year 2019/2020.

Despite an increase in the Education budget from the current financial year 2018/19 sector budget of Shs 2.78 trillion to Shs 3.28 trillion in FY 2019/2020, Ms Museveni told the committee that there are critical activities that have not been funded.

Alex Kakooza, the ministry of Education permanent secretary, said that despite the construction of the stadium at 4 per cent, no funds have been allocated for the stadium project in FY 2019/20. The ministry has so far received Shs 665 million for the construction of the stadium which was channeled to Lira district local government.

The money was used for opening the boundaries of the land, clearing and levelling the field of 18.6 acres, construction of access roads and drainage channels. Kakooza told MPs that due to under-funding, further activities on the stadium have been put on halt.

He said that the ministry of Education has made a formal proposal and application through ministry of Finance for financing construction of the stadium from the Chinese government under a grant and interest-free loan.

"The underperforming go Akii Bua stadium and no allocation towards this construction in FY 2019/20. Mr chairman due to underfunding, further activities beyond preliminary works - designs, civil works and supply of stadium equipment cannot take place. Ministry of Finance is consequently exiting the project for the public investment plan for FY 2019/20 because the low funding levels cannot deliver a stadium." he said.

"Mr Chairman, we want to say the money which had been allocated was not for construction of the stadium. The money was for preliminary works including designing of the stadium. So we're trying to look for funding and HE the president requested that we make a formal proposal and application through ministry of Finance for the construction of the Akii Bua stadium to the People's Republic of China." Kakooza added.

The stadium was a pledge by President Yoweri Museveni in 2016 in memory of Uganda's first Olympic gold medallist, John Akii-Bua.

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