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Uganda: Parliament donates sh222m to She Cranes

She Cranes players celebrate after winning the Africa Netball Championships at Lugogo Indoor Stadium. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo

Parliament has passed a resolution which among other things will comple Members of Parliament (MPs ) to contribute  a token of appreciation to the She Cranes for winning the 2017 African Netball Championships.  

The proposal to contribute sh500,000 each which will lead to raising a total of sh222m came as an addendum to Masindi woman Jalia Bintu’s motion by the shadow minister for sports Allan Ssewanyana.

“You all supported my proposal for us to contribute money to Uganda Cranes. I also urge you to accept the proposal to contribute money to She Cranes,” Ssewanyana stated.

In a reaction to whether the sh222m should be given to the players to appreciate them or be used to buy a bus which they don’t have Kitagwenda MP Abasi Agaba and Rose Mutonyi suggested that part of the money be used  to buy a bus  and the remaining  given to the players.

But Kachumbala County MP Patrick Isiagi opposed the idea  saying, “Let us not act as if there is no government. Government will buy the bus and let our money be given to players to change their lives.”

The Leader of Opposition, Winnie Kiiza, also supported the idea of distributing all the money to the players  and proposed that a supplementary budget be brought for government to buy the bus and cater for the monthly allowances which it had promised them.

After a back and forth prolonged debate on the matter, the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga guided that the leadership of parliament would sit with She Cranes to agree with them on how they want the money to be utilized.

Speaking to New Vision as they left the Parliament gallery, captain Lillian Ajio said, “As players we want the money to be given to us. Government will buy the bus. We have so many needs and we think given the contribution we have made to our country, we deserve a token of appreciation.”

Several MPs including the chairperson of Parliament’s education and sports committee Connie Galawanga, Jessica Ababiku,  Mutonyi, Bernard Atiku and Santa Alumu urged government to increase funding to the sports sector which they said has potential not only to market Uganda’s tourism but also to create jobs for young people.

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga however expressed disappointment that whereas Parliament has made so many resolutions on sports sectors over the years, government has not implemented any of them.

In the motion tabled by Bintu, the House commended the She Cranes for their outstanding performance which has catapulted them to being ranked the world’s 9th best netball team.

Parliament also resolved that it immediately embarks on constructing a facility ground for netball, increases funding to the sports sector and pay monthly allowances to top sportsmen and women.

Source: Moses Mulondo, Moses Walubiri / New Vision 

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