President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni presided over the official ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Buhinga Stadium on the outskirts of Fort Portal in Kabarole district.
The Buhinga stadium will be a 30,000 all seater stadium whose engineering works will be done by the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Engineering Brigade section.
According to State House, similar stadia will be built in Bunyoro, Ankole and Kigezi, each to cost Shs. 6 billion.
Addressing the residents, the President stressed the need for the Government to run its programmes on the principle of prioritization.
While construction of a stadium is cheaper than a road, the latter is more critical for our economic development.
For example, the Kamwenge road construction cost Shs400 billion. This would have built several stadia. Sports is a vital item especially to the youth but government has been handling other priorities first.
And before infrastructure, was the question of insecurity, especially here in the Rwenzori region. People were worried about insecurity here but I assured you nobody could disturb our peace. We have a fully peaceful country now.
However, as we resolve the other infrastructure concerns, government will no doubt gradually invest more in sports facilities.
The president took off a few minutes to show case his ball juggling skills much to the applause of the spectators that thronged the Buhinga stadium that last year hosted the Uganda Cranes during the famous ‘Uganda Cranes Na-Mutima tour’ matches.
There was also a curtain raiser match played between Toro Kingdom select team and Uganda Premier League club, Mbarara City F.C.
According to the architectural designs, the stadium will comprise a football pitch, Tennis Court, netball and volleyball court, offices, dressing rooms, two gymnasiums, a clinic, hotel facility and other hospitality facilities.
A perimeter wall, a pavilion, standard dressing rooms and modern toilets will be effected.
The Kabarole chief administrative officer, Dunstan Balaba, the stadium will be constructed by the UPDF engineers adding that the structural and architectural designs have already been completed.
Kabarole district chairman Richard Rwabuhinga confirmed that the works are already underway.
If completed, the stadium will be able to host regional, national and international matches.
Other stadia in Uganda:
At the moment, Uganda has three CAF – standard stadia at Namboole, St Mary’s Kitende and the Star Times stadium at Lugogo.
Other regional stadia as Kakindu, Kyabazinga stadium at Bugembe (Jinja), Pece (Gulu), Kakyeka (Mbarara), Boma (Hoima), Green Light (Arua), Mbale Municipal Stadium, Kavumba (Wakiso), Iganga, Lango (Lira), Kabale require massive overhauls to be up lifted to the expected standards.
Heavy construction works are currently undergoing at Nakivubo stadium in the heart of the capital, Kampala.
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has of late secured land from Buganda Kingdom to construct a regional stadium at Kawoolo in Lugazi as well as the second training center in Rubaga (at the famous Kadiba ground).
The land in Rubaga was secured from Namirembe Cathedral on a 50 year lease.