Time check; It is 4:30 PM of Wednesday, 17th August 2022 at State House, Nakasero in the heart of Kampala city.
Preparations for the handover ceremony of state minister for sports’ office from Hon. Denis Hamson Obua to Hon. Peter Ogwang are ripe.
The two youthful and vibrant ministers, invited guests and media are all present.
A few minutes to the long awaited handover ceremony, the heavens set loose.
“This is purely total blessings” a visibly excited Hon. Obua murmurs to Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel, the secretary general for the National Council of Sports (NCS), one of the special guests.
The planned event in the leafy lavish compound is quickly adjourned to the main conference hall.
The First Lady, also the minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni arrives under the rain and gracefully takes her seat.
Minutes later, other guests also hurriedly enter the hall before the Mamma, as the first lady is fondly refereed to brings the hall to order.
The two men of the moment; Hon Obua and Hon. Ogwang, both legislators in the national parliament are seated just next to each other, donning almost identical neck-ties with black and yellow stripes.
The three stanzas of the Uganda National Anthem as well as East African anthem are sung aloud.
The Bishop of Lango Diocese, Professor Rt. Rev. Alfred Olwa, the god father of Hon. Obua leads the opening prayers.
Mamma makes a brief preamble and quickly requests Hon. Obua to introduce his catalogue of guests he has come with.
We learn that Hon. Obua traveled along with his beloved wife, Caroline Obua, Pro. Rt Rev Olwa, one of his elder brothers, Jasper Okello, personal assistants at the ministry of education and sports, the accompanying officials from National Council of Sports (NCS).
It is Hon. Ogwang’s turn to introduce the people he has come with; to which the Ngariam county MP boldly confesses to have come single-handedly ready to receive office and instruments of power.
With a rich quotation from Ecclesiates 3:1 “For everything there is a season, a time every activity under Heaven…a time to embrace and a time to turn away”, Mamma embarks her lovely speech.
“Indeed today, the time of Hon Hamson Obua’s service to the Ministry of Education and Sports ends, and a new season begins for him as Government Chip” she opens up.
The First Lady then deservedly showers Hon Obua with endless praise as she curtails the bold achievements for the former Northern Uganda youth MP, now the Member of Parliament for Ajuri County. Alebtong District, in the 10th Ugandan Parliament.
“Hon Obua literally embraced the sports sub sector, giving his all to inspiring a fresh spirit of energy and enthusiasm in all he did. Throughout his tenure, with his characteristic youthful spring, he regularly engaged the 54 sports federations and associations, envision them to them their best, to the nation regardless of their challenges” Mamma Janet spoke of Obua.
In particular, Hon. Obua was praised for the increased funding in the sports sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic, budget cuts and budget suppressions, advocacy for sports facilities (High Altitude centre in Teryet, Aki Bua Memorial Centre – Lira, Buhinga and an oversight role in promoting the construction works of Mandela National Stadium and Nakivubo), conflict resolution skills and abilities, excellent work ethic and enthusiasm, zeal for sports that contributed to many medals for Uganda at international stage, among others.
“I express our sincere gratitude to you Hon Obua and your team for the excellent service to our nation and the sports fraternity in particular. We also thank you for your contribution to all Uganda’s sports achievements, during your tenure” the delighted First Lady added.
She then welcomed the new minister Hon Ogwang with another avalanche of heart-felt messages.
“The Ministry of Education and Sports family, welcomes the new Minister of State for Sports Hon. Peter Ogwang, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ngariam county to the sector. Fortunately, I know and also admire the passion he has for the service of our country. We assure you of our unwaivered cooperation and support to enable you to, acclimatize and settle in your new role. I have no doubt that you will build on Hon. Obua’s networks and take the sub-sector to another level” she welcomed Hon Ogwang.
For the record, Obua who proudly hails from Ajuri termed the shift to the Chief Whip office as a promotion.
Back then in 2021 after his election as area of member, he lauded the people of Ajuri; “Atin Alwak Me Ajuri” he stated in an appreciation message.
“I am deeply delighted for your kind words” Hon Obua appreciated Mamma’s message.
“For two years and eight months, I was appointed to work as state minister of sports. This is the day to thank the Lord. Never in my lifetime did I know that I would be this far. To be chief whip, it is a promotion. I am now also the youngest Cabinet Minister in the Republic of Uganda. I need the guidance of President Museveni. I am humbled beyond my limits. Mama, you have written a new chapter in my life. It has been a great, great, great honour to work with you. You nurtured, shaped, groomed and transformed me. I am leaving the ministry much more improved. I leave the Ministry with a PHD (Patience, Hope and Dignity). I came at a challenging time when there was COVID-19, budget cuts and budget suppressions but all these are not my achievements. These are your achievements as the leader. I remember you cautioned me on Planning, Discipline, Transparency, Accountability and I listened. A car runs with the engine – these are the entailed staff for the office of the first lady. I thank my family (Nuclear and Extended); wife, children and brothers.” He revealed.
Hon. Obua then listed the achievement achieved as increased funding for sports sub-sector, review of sports policy and sports bill, secured a land title of Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, UPDF Engineering Brigade embarked on the works to erect the fence at Mandela National Stadium (Fencing) and kick started the upgrade, performance of team Uganda improved regionally, continentally and internationally with world record holders and qualification of seven national teams qualified to the World Cup, All statutory meetings with national sports federations and associations were held, NCS attained a vote status and completion for the first phase at Teryet High Altitude Training center with the 11 KM road stretch now completed.
He cautioned the in-coming minister Hon Ogwang to emphasize on cheques and balances in a bid to bring sanity in the industry.
“Please crack the whip where possible” Hon.Obua cautioned Hon Ogwang.
“From 1 Corinthians 10:13; God is faithful; He will not disappoint. My appointment on promotion is a test to me. I will remain committed to the sports development. I remain your son.
I have fought a good fight, I have run a good race, I have finished my journey at Ministry of Education and Sports.” He summarized.
Incomes Hon. Ogwang:
The new minister Hon Ogwang also showered praise to the First Lady.
“You are an icon of peace, love and tenderness that Ugandans are privileged to have. I am happy and ready to work with you. I am joining a vibrant and energetic team led by Mamma Janet that has ably managed to see a drastic increment of budget from Shs 1 trillion when you took over in 2016 to Shs 4.4 Trillion” Hon Ogwang revealed.
“To Hon Obua, I thank the president for giving you a promotion. The entire country is proud of you for supporting and uplifting the sports sub-sector. Uganda is blessed with abundant tapped and untapped talent which needs to be developed. The sports sector has potential to provide employment and boost sports tourism. Please mamma, support Uganda’s bid to co-host the AFCON with Tanzania. I will work to consolidate our gains in sports sub-sector. I will at all times seek guidance from Mamma” he added.
Hon. Ogwang also warned the bad characters in sports as he rose the voice; “Resign or we clean you up”.
Hon Obua then officially handed over office, key documents before he received a plaque of appreciation from the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The ceremonial hand-over had a couple of documents as the written reports from National Council of Sports (NCS), Teryet High Atitude Training Center, National Council of Sports 1964, Statutory Instruments, Memorandum of Understanding and Article of Association establishing Mandela National Stdium – Limited, Founding Documents of NCS Via-a-vis Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC), File of Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium with all the Public Private Partnerships (First Lady heartily smiled as Hon Ogwang received this particular file), the Feasibility study reports on Akii Bua Stadium – Lira and Buhinga Stadium – Kabarole, Copies of Land Titles (Family of the Late John Akii Bua and Mandela National Stadium (MNS) Namboole) as well as the reviewed and Draft sports policies (Sports and Physical activities Bill).
The two leaders then embraced with a long warm hug before the group photo with all those in presence summarized the event.
There was a closing prayer from the Bishop of Lango Diocese, Professor Rt Rev. Alfred Olwa who blessed everybody before departure.
Meanwhile, outside the hall, it remained rainy throughout the night until the dusk of Thursday, 18th August 2022.
It is a new tenure for Hon. Ogwang as the state minister of sports.