On April 23, 2018 at a luncheon organised in honour of Uganda’s team to the Commonwealth Games in Australia held at State House Entebbe, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni pledged to pay medallists a stipend.
Then, Joshua Cheptegei, Stella Chesang, Munyo Muntai, Mercyline Chelangat and Juma Miiro had won medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
“I promise these children that whoever wins gold, I will give him a monthly salary of 5 million, one who wins silver I will give him 3 million,” said Museveni before even promising to pay arrears of the winners since 2014.
“These children are saying that some won since 2014 but they never got, those ones I am going to give them their arrears.”
However, State House Private Secretary for Sports, Norah Nassimbwa, has said that Museveni’s promise was just a donation and not salary.
She was reacting to cries from several athletes including boxers David Ssemujju and Juma Miiro as well as Halima Nakaayi who in an interview with NBS TV revealed they have taken months without getting their pay.
“I got paid for some months after we met the president but its now taken a long time without any payment from State House,” stated Nakaayi, Ssemujju and Miiro.
In reaction, Nassimbwa told NBS TV that – “The president’s promise wasn’t a salary to these sportsmen but a gift or donation.
“If it was a salary, they would have received it from the public service, on time and every month and that money would be taxed but that’s not the case.”
“Since it’s a gift, they can only get the money when all is well but for now, that money has been diverted to fighting COVID19 and when situation normalises, they will get it again,” she stressed.
It remains to be seen whether they will be cleared when situation normalises but as usual, we shall keep you posted.