GLASGOW- Team Uganda left Glasgow yesterday before receiving the kit that was meant to be used during the Commonwealth Games.
The kit for the 94-man team, ordered from Italian manufactures Errea, will now be shipped to Kampala, according to Team Uganda chef de mission Ambrose Tashobya.
“We must apologise for the delays but things were beyond us. Government released the money so late and our orders were equally placed late,” Tashobya told athletes and officials in their final meeting before they prepared to sign out of the Games Village on Tuesday night.
“Errea told me they finished the packaging today (Tuesday) and were ready to dispatch the items but I told them we couldn’t wait,” Tashobya, who is also the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) vice-president in charge of administration, said. “We asked that they send them straight to Uganda and the Ministry of Education and Sports has promised to help us clear the taxes.”
“We can’t blame the manufacturers because it was our mistake to pay late. Hopefully government will act fast next time to avoid such mishaps.”
Before travelling to Glasgow, UOC were bitter with the sports ministry and National Council of Sports (NCS) for delaying to release funds for the kit and team preparations.
Due to many orders from several other African countries, Tashobya said, Errea only managed to deliver competition kit to some members of Team Uganda before the Games started and he had to improvise by buying the rest from Glasgow.
Case of allowances
“What is important is that we have gone through this successfully. I promise you will get the rest of your kit (track suits, bags, shoes and jackets) as soon as we receive the consignment,” Tashobya, who has been hailed by athletes as the best team leader they have had in a long time, assured the team.
Much as he got the plaudits, Tashobya found himself bombarded by questions about per diem.
“For those of you that never got their allowances before departure, the money is at Okello House.
State House is handling the matter and you will have to visit their office and pick it,” he said. Athletes, who travelled in the first batch on July 13, left Kampala without allowances as the President’s Office released the monies a day later.
Each athlete is entitled to a per diem of $100 for 14 days. Uganda won five medals, four of them bronze in Glasgow.