Group photo of all the participants for team Uganda at the Common Wealth games with President Museveni and first lady at Entebbe State House Credit: PPU
[/media-credit] Group photo of all the participants for team Uganda at the Common Wealth games with President Museveni and first lady at Entebbe State House Credit: PPU

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni hosted the Uganda Commonwealth team members at his lavish lake side State House in Entebbe on Sunday.

He promised to build houses for each of the gold medalists like he had done for the previous achievers.

Likewise, I will build a house for Cheptegei and Chesang who won gold medals, like I have done for previous gold medalists. The other issues raised by the Sebei community will be attended to; the schools, safe water provision and construction of an airstrip to promote tourism.

The team returned home on Thursday afternoon and was accorded a special VVIP reception as it was officially recieved by the first lady, Janet Kataha Museveni before a welcome dinner at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

Monthly payments to all medalists:

Each of the medalists will be paid monthly by the Government of Uganda starting this very month, April 2018;

I made a promise that whoever wins a gold medal at an international competition would get a monthly salary of Shs5m, silver Shs3m and Shs1m for bronze. The 5 medalists today will get onto the payroll. I have also been told of some arrears to other athletes, they will be cleared.

Tax holidays on imported sports gear

Reacting on the issue of the issue of granting tax holidays on imported sports equipment, the President vowed to put the matter into debate but was quick to challenge on manufacturing some of the equipment within the country.

We shall discuss the issue of taxes on sports equipment. But we must work towards manufacturing these equipment in Uganda. Why should we import balls when we have leather here? And this will help create jobs here instead of exporting employment opportunities to other countries.

He also vowed to see the speedy completion of the high altitude training base in Teret, Kapchorwa

“On the high altitude training facility in Sebei, we have begun construction. I did not know that they had halted because of the rains. However, I still do not find that reason convincing. I will take it up with the sports ministry but its completion will be expedited” the head of state vowed.

[/media-credit] President Mueveni addresses the Common Wealth participants and officials at Entebbe State House on Sunday Credit: PPU

Joshua Cheptegei, winner of two gold medals in the 5000M and 1000M race was a day later promoted to Inspector of Police rank and rewarded with shs 10M.

Stella Chesang, winner of a gold medal in the 10,000M women event was also promoted from SPC to Inspector of Police also with a token of five millions.

President Museveni talks to the medalists outside Entebbe State House

10,000M bronze medalist, Chelangat Mercyline was promoted from SPC to the rank of Assistant Inspector of police.

[/media-credit] Chepetegei and family with President Museveni Credit: PPU

SPC Robert Chemonges was re-graded to the rank of police constable and given a token Shs. 10M.

SPC Scovia Ayikoru was re-graded to the rank of police constable (PC).

SPC Shida Leni was re-graded to the rank of Police Constable and given a token of one million.

Keen advice from the president:

The president also bought off his busy schedule to advise the sportsmen and women accordingly;

The other issues we should pay attention to are health of athletes and their nutrition. I saw some footballers kicking balls lazily. They need energy. Coupled with this is training (teamwork) and being disciplined. Shun alcohol and umalaya

During the 2018 Common Wealth Games in Australia, Uganda finished 15th on the medals table standing, having won six medals in total at the games.

Excited officials and participants at Entebbe State House on Sunday

Of the six medals, three are gold, a silver and two bronze – one better than at the last Games in Glasgow.

Cheptegai won two gold medals in the 5000M and 1000M races to lead the cast of winners.

There was another gold for team Uganda in the 10,000M women race for Stellah Chesang, the same event that Mercyline Chelangat  finished third to take bronze.

Fly weight boxer (49 Kgs) Juma Miiro settled for a bronze medal after he lost his semifinal fight India Amit Panghal at the Oxenford Studios.

Solomon Munyo Mutai won silver in the Marathon, in two hours, 19 minutes and 2 seconds.

This was a far much improved performance for Mutai who finished 4th at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

[/media-credit] First Lady, Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni addresses the participants and officials at Entebbe State House Credit: PPU

The First Lady, Janet Kataha Museveni, who is also the minister of Education and Sports also graced the meeting at Entebbe State House alongside the State Minister for Sports Charles Bakabulindi, among others.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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