By Watchdog reporter
State minister for sports, Charles Bakabulindi on Tuesday told Parliamentarians that the government did not allocate any funds for Uganda Cranes to take part in the African Cup of Nation which is due to take place just days from now and that is was why they had to raise a supplementary budget since the Cranes going to Gabon was unforeseeable.
Bakabulindi openly lamented that the national team qualified by chance for the Africa Cup of Nations and therefore it took them by surprise.
According to The Spear news, Bakabulindi who was speaking on behalf of the Education and Sports ministry headed by First Lady Janet Museveni told parliament that experts at the ministry have already forecasted Cranes will drop out of the tournament early (group stage) and therefore, they have cut their budget from Sh6 billion to Sh2 billion, which is the third of the ideal budget.
Shadow minister for sports, Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West), put the minister on spot to explain why only sh1 billion was given to the Cranes to which he answered they were still looking for the balance. In effect, Cranes was budgeted to use Sh1 billion for the campaign.
Millions of Ugandans are staking their hopes on the national team to represent them at the most prestigious soccer tournament on the continent. It is the first time Cranes is qualifying for AFCON in a period of 38 years.
The minister’s statement annoyed MPs who asked “what if Cranes surprises the bureaucrats like they did to qualify?”
The minister however assured parliamentarians that the ministry experts had done due diligence and have analyzed the matter deeply.