Like the normal has been for the previous 18 years, Uganda Sports Journalists, under the umbrella body Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) have planned an annual road safety campaign.

The campaign was started after the untimely death of four sports journalists (Leo Kabunga, Kenneth Matovu, Simon Peter Ekarot and Francis Batte Junior) in a dangerous road accident at Lugazi.

The 2019 campaign which will be held on Saturday, 24th August has been given a boost by Standard Chartered Bank to a tune of Shs 5M.

The financial token was officially announced during a joint press conference held between the stakeholders at the Standard Chartered Bank headquarters.

The Bank once again announced a sponsorship of Ugx 5,000,000 (Five million shillings only) to facilitate the organization of the Road Safety Campaign as well as jointly implementing an Employee Volunteering initiative which will see USPA and the Bank paint the Mulago Casualty Ward in support of accident victims.

Dummy Cheque presentation of Shs 5M
USPA President Patrick Kanyomozi (right) appreciates the Standard Chartered official Edward Barlow Muwanga

In 2018, the partners jointly executed a successful Blood donation drive under the theme “5 days – 1,000 pints blood donation campaign” that was implemented by Nakasero Blood Transfusion services at Buganda Royal University, IUIU, Makerere University, Mukwano Arcade and Lugazi.

The campaign managed to collect over 500 units of blood.

The Head, Operational Risk, Standard Chartered Bank Edward Barlow Muwanga noted that with this partnership that the Bank has maintained with USPA over the past 12 years is testament to the Bank’s “Here for good” brand promise and its commitment to contributing to the wellbeing of the communities in which it operates.

We are glad to once again join the Annual USPA Road Safety Campaign to sensitize Ugandans about road safety. We are grateful for the partnership which has over the years given us an opportunity to lend our voice to a problem that affects all of us. With this campaign Standard Chartered Bank, USPA and partners have consistently sensitized and appealed to Ugandans to pay more caution, obey road rules, respect other road users to curb the rampant yet avoidable accidents on our roads. We have all fallen victim or lost loved ones due to accidents so it’s all our duty to firmly do something about this escalating problem and bring down the number of injuries and deaths on our roads. I am pleased to announce that this year we are also joining hands with USPA to paint the casualty ward at Mulago Hospital as part of the Road safety campaign. Last year we collected blood, this year let us join hands to reach out to the road accident victims and share a message of hope; that we understand the magnitude of their predicament and are doing something to transform mindsets and change attitudes. Our staff will actively participate in the activities lined up like; painting zebra crossings, marching, holding a remembrance service for our departed among other things. I urge other stakeholders to join us in this noble cause so we can reach more people. The USPA Road Safety campaign is a worthwhile initiative that Standard Chartered Bank has supported since 2007. The other reason for our steadfast support of this initiative is because Uganda continues to be one of the African countries with the highest rate of road accidents and deaths from reckless driving, over speeding among other factors and as a Bank we have also lost several staff to road accidents.

Edward Barlow Muwanga
L-R: Cynthia Mpanga, Edward Barlow Muwanga and Patrick Kanyomozi smile after a light moment

Uganda Sports Press Association president  Patrick Kanyomozi, flanked by the organizing secretary Francisco Bwambale and the financial controller Mubarak Kasule lauded Standard Chartered for the sponsorship and partnership once again.

As USPA we are grateful that Standard Chartered Bank has been with us all these years, we value this relationship and it is one that we intend to keep for many more years. Being a part of this campaign for 12 years is testament to the Bank’s commitment to caring for the communities they serve, something that we have in common. As a sports journalist’s body we also care for our communities and this initiative helps us accomplish that. This sponsorship is going to help us with the main activities in Lugazi on 24th August which will involve painting zebra crossings, as well as the other activities in the build-up. We will clean and paint the casualty ward in Mulago Hospital, on top of an awareness campaign that we plan to undertake. We thank Standard Chartered Bank for enabling us achieve all that we plan to do.

Patrick Kanyomozi, USPA President
Kanyomozi (middle) during his presentation

Kanyomozi also urged the Ugandans to be more vigilant and caring towards fellow road users to avoid unnecessary road accidents.

“There is need to act immediately and fast to end Road carnage. All the various agencies that should ensure safer roads should work together to save lives. Public enlightenment should be intensified. Our roads would be safer if sign posts were not vandalized, if they were well maintained and a culture of obeying traffic regulations is enforced. We can change this by creating more awareness through initiatives such as this.” Kanyomozi added.

Other USPA partners as City Tyres are also expected to join hands in this very campaign.

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

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