Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana has threatened to petition parliament protesting government’s lack of interest in sports, which saw the country’s Olympic team leave Rio games without a single medal.
A hashtag #OlympicMedalsUgandaCouldWin trended on social media platforms, as enthusiasts laughed at Uganda for returning from the Rio Olympic games in Brazil empty-handed.
Rio 2016 Olympics Games ended after 16 days of competition, featuring 11,303 athletes from 206 nations and a refugee team.
Team USA topped the medal table with 121 medals after winning in men’s basketball while Team Uganda failed to get any medal.
Ugandans’ hopes were all put on the last item of the games-the marathon-only to be dashed when a Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge, the 2003 world champion at 5000m “stole the show” and won the gold.
Kipchoge won the Olympic marathon followed by Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa comes and USA’s Galen Rupp who finished 3rd.
Uganda’s Solomon Mutai finished 8th and London 2012 Olympic Gold medallist Stephen Kiprotich finished in 14th position.
MP Ssewanyana angry
Ssewanyana, a former NBS TV sports presenter, was not amused at all.
While threatening to petition parliament, Ssewanyana cited lack of political will on the side of government in supporting sports.
He wants parliament to ensure that a reasonable budget is allocated to sports saying poor funding is the reason why Ugandan sports is disorganised.
“As the national Olympics team, we needed a lot of funding. Government should give sports more money,” the MP told KFM radio.
Before the Uganda Olympics Committee (UOC) set out for Rio games, the President of UOC, William Blick, together with colleagues presented a request to fill a Shs 450m shortfall in their Shs 1.7b 2016 Olympics games budget to Speaker Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga.
UOC Vice President, Ambrose Tashobya, said the team had shortages in funds required for administration, team uniforms and equipment, air tickets and allowances.
Speaker Kadaga promised to consult with the Ministry of Finance before organizing the fundraising event at which corporate companies would be invited to sponsor various aspects of the team.
The Aga Khan hospital has pledged to give free medical treatment and examination to all national and international athletes.