The Minister of State for Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang has revealed that the renovation and upgrade of the Mandela National Stadium in Namboole to international standards has been affected by delays in the release of funds.
Ogwang said whereas Parliament approved the budget in the 2021/2022 financial year, the money was released late.
“Parliament appropriated Shs31billion and a supplementary funding of Shs62 billion in the 2021/2022 financial year for the construction of a boundary wall, renovation and upgrade but the stadium received funds in July 2022,” Ogwang said.
Ogwang said that as a result, only 32 per cent of civil works has been completed by the UPDF engineering Brigade.
He added that the procurement process is also still ongoing. The minister said the ongoing works will hopefully satisfy the requirements for Uganda to host international tournaments such as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.
Ogwang also updated Parliament on the proposed construction of Buhinga Stadium in Kabarole District and Akii Bua Olympic Stadium in Lira City.
“A report on feasibility studies, concept design, and environmental and social impact assessments was submitted to the Ministry of Finance awaiting for funds to commence construction of Buhinga and Akii Bua,” Ogwang added.
Ogwang said Buhinga Stadium is designed to host 26,000 people with two net ball courts, two volleyball courts, two hand ball courts, two basketball courts, an artificial turf, three tennis courts, a fitness centre and a hotel all to cost US$64 million.
The proposed 30,000 seater Akii Bua Stadium upon completion will have an athletics track, two netball courts, two volleyball courts, two basketball courts, two handball courts, an artificial turf, three tennis courts and a swimming pool. This will cost US$48 million.
In February 2022, the renovation of Mandela National Stadium (Namboole) kicked off with the construction of the perimeter wall after Hon. Hamson Obua, State Minister for Sports and Education, officially handed over the site to the UPDF Engineering Brigade.
The stadium has not hosted any international competition for almost two years since it was banned by the world soccer governing body, FIFA.
The facilities under renovation include the dressing rooms, playing surface, running track, installation of desks and air conditioners in the media and VIP sections, seats in the general public stands, and upgrading floodlights as directed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).