Parliament directs the government to allocate more funds for sports in the new budget

The unforgettable colourful performance of  Uganda’s national netball team commonly known as “She Cranes “has re-awakened discussions on the prioritization of the sports sector prompting Parliament to direct the government to properly follow up funds as per the 2022/2023 financial year.

She Cranes happened to be in the fifth position in the First Five Netball Series in New Zealand over the weekend. The team beat the No.1 ranked Australia 32-30.

Commenting on the awesome performance the Right Honorable  Speaker Anita Among asserted that such performances are evidence that the government ought to give more precedence to sports as a sector.

“I would like to congratulate our girls and as we go for budgeting, we need to make a priority on sports. As women, we should support our girls,” said the speaker.

She, therefore, tasked the Ministry of Finance to give a timeline in which the funds for the first and second quarters will be released.  In her remarks;

“It is so disappointing that much as this House ring-fenced money for sports, the money was not released as per what was appropriated. Sports is a very good tool for mobilization,” she said adding that, ‘it is the best thing for tourism. When you have a sports team that is performing wonders, then the country is being sold.

In a recorded audio Hon. Solomon Silwany (NRM, Bukooli County Central) asked the Speaker to direct the Minister of Finance to send the bill back to the committee for further investigations relating to the release of the funds.  

 In his words “The Ministry of Finance has adamantly refused to support the sports fraternity. We need to invite the Minister for the fourth time to come and re-commit himself that he is going to give the Ministry of Sports all money appropriated as per the budget,” Silwany noted.

On  Wednesday, 09 November 2022, the current Minister of State for Privatisation and Investment, Hon. Evelyn Anite claimed that the Ministry of Finance will have to make a concrete commitment about the release of funds.

“The reason why we were not able to release the money in totality was that in the first quarter, we did have challenges of resource mobilization owing to the fact that we had just come out of the aggressive Covid-19 and were not able to mobilise revenue from our taxpayers,” she asserted.  

She added that ‘the good news is that this has gone to the past and we have been able to mobilise resources and we will release the money that was appropriated by Parliament in totality’.

Important still Bugiri Municipality MP, Hon. Asuman Basalirwa also came in  attaching the  challenges in the sports sector to what he described as ‘archaic laws’

“Part of the problem relates to the law that governs sports in this country. That even explains why the government delays to release money and some of the related confusion in the sports sector,” said Basalirwa.

Putting the blame on the government for frustrating the efforts of Budiope East MP, Hon. Moses Magogo to introduce the National Sports Bill.  

“Was it deliberate for the government to frustrate our Bill? Why are you not bringing the Bill now and why are we suffering?” Basalirwa wondered.

Parliament deferred the first reading of the Bill, with the government arguing that there is a need for further consultations on the financial implications.

Magogo was scheduled to table the Bill on 09 March 2022 but the then Government Chief Whip, Hon. Thomas Tayebwa said that the Bill had several connotations of financial implications which require co-sponsorship.

Nevertheless, the Right honourable speaker Anita Annet Among, directed Magogo to table the Bill for its first reading on Wednesday, 09 November 2022 saying that any harmonization should have been done during the committee stage.

“The Bill was basically coming for the first reading. I don’t see a reason why somebody should be stopped from exercising his constitutional rights to bring a private members’ Bill,” said Among.

Government Chief Whip, Hon. Hamson Obua, formerly Minister of State for Sports explained that the Bill was halted pending a review of the sports policy.


The Uganda national netball team the She Cranes are in Christ Church, New Zealand from where they will be taking part in their first edition of the Fast Five version of the sport from November 5-6.

On Sunday after three weeks of training at Kamokya, State Minister for Sports Peter Ogwang officially sent off the team.

The She-Cranes squad is comprised of two Centre players namely; Norah Lunkuse and Maggie Bagala. Three defenders Joan Nampungu, Sandra Nambirige, and Faridah Kadondi. Four sharpshooters, Irene Eyaru, Christine Namulumba, Shadiah Nassanga, Hanisha Muhammed.

Uganda was to play against England, New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica and South Africa in the competition as it was placed in the sixth position in worldwide qualifiers.

Each quarter of the game lasts six minutes compared with the 15 minutes in the normal international netball competition among other rules.

Before the match, the She-Cranes team promised that they have watched many videos regarding how the version is played and had improved their speed in the three weeks of training, and thus will be able to perform well despite the experience and great courage of their opponents.

They also believe competition against the world’s best is a perfect preparation for the Netball World Cup due next year in South Africa.

With great courage before leaving Uganda, the team captain Joan Nampungu said, 

“Our coaches have done their part, they have taught us all the game rules and we have managed to improve our speed. We are ready for the challenge ahead. This will also help us to better ourselves as we look forward to the World Cup,”.

 Minister Ogwang was really overjoyed with the good performance and thanked the She Cranes for an excellent performance at the Commonwealth Games this year. The team finished fifth among the 12 countries that took part in the competition.

He also called upon the team to do even better before promising each player Shs20m as a token of appreciation, a visit to the First Lady for a handshake and overwhelming support in the Netball World Cup preparations.

“Netball is among our top priority sports. You have performed beyond expectation and nobody should underestimate you. I want to pledge on behalf of the government that we are going to provide you with all the support you need for the forthcoming World Cup because you have ticked all the boxes,” he said.

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