In the recent few days, there has been excitement but with pessimism following and endorsement by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for the construction of a Sports complex at Lugogo where the current Cricket Oval sits.
Museveni handed the mantle to a Turkish Company, Summa Construction who promised to deliver the complete work in not more than 14 months.
According to Summa Construction, when complete, the complex will include a multipurpose indoor Arena with a seating capacity of 15,000 people, a small indoor sports Arena with a seating capacity of 3,000 people, a 25m- eight (8) lane swimming pool, a multi-purpose standard pitch and an athlete hostel with a capacity of 60 people.In addition, it will have an accommodation facility with 120 rooms as well as a showroom, shopping centre and a state-of-the-art fitness gym, among other amenities.
All this is exciting especially to sports loving Ugandans but for many, until it is completed as proposed, the enthusiasm is reserved and without visible examples.
In 2020, the Government excited Ugandans when a proposal to build a High-Altitude Training Facility at Teryet but 13 years later, there is nothing to show.
This was in the aftermath of Moses Kipsiro’s double gold triumphs at the Delhi Common Wealth Games.
On October 13 last year, the renovation of Masaka Recreation Grounds was launched after government allocated Shs. 16.5 billion but almost a year later, nothing has ever been done.
At the flagship, it was revealed that the stadium was to be upgraded to the level of hosting international matches, have a basketball, netball and tennis court and spaces for indoor games and swimming among others.
Just this year, Uganda Cranes couldn’t host Afcon matches at Mandela National stadium, Namboole which is under rehabilitation for over two years now since it didn’t meet the Caf standards for international matches.
There is also a piece of land from Kololo SS which an ‘investor’ got for free to construct a sports complex but work has never got underway and it was recently advertised as a prime property for sale. Its along the Lugogo bypass.
There is also a case of Nakivubo War Memorial stadium which whose land was given to local investor Ham Kiggundu but six years later, the stadium is yet to be completed although at least, its in the final stages.
However, from the look of things, some sports like Boxing which were housed at the original Nakivubo appear to have been replaced by shopping malls and also the design and plan as shown to the President at the giveaway is totally different from what is on ground.
There are also cases of Rayco Garcia Foundation who was meant to construct an academy in Uganda and over 40 acres of land endorsed by government but seven years later, nothing has ever happened.
And with those live examples, you can’t blame Ugandans for being skeptical but any sports loving Ugandan will hope this happens.