Akii-Bua stadium plan takes new twist

Thursday August 08 2019

The planned construction of the Akii-Bua Memorial Stadium in Lira has taken a new twist after the district leadership allegedly handed over the site to a local football team to develop.
The Lira district leadership has instead offered the same land to Lango Province, a local football team, to develop.
The football team is constructing a perimeter wall surrounding the latrine and the pavilion initially built by the government.
Mr Geoffrey Omara, the chairman of Lango Province, said they are developing the Erute land because the Federation for Uganda Football Association (Fufa), had recommended that they should find an alternative playground covered with grass.
Previously, Lango Province had been hosting its games at the Uganda Technical College, Lira.
“We had to get an alternative playground with standard requirements including grass, a perimeter wall, and an inner perimeter chain fence to guard the pitch,” he said.
“That is why we came up with this initiative to consult Lira District authority and indeed they gave us part of the Akii-Bua Stadium land where we are currently constructing the wall fence and improving the playground,” he added.
The development, according to Mr Omara, is in preparation for the Fufa Drum quarter-finals and final tournament expected to be hosted in Lira and Gulu in October.
Mr Rogers Byamukama, the chairman of Fufa Drum organising committee, while inspecting the site on August 2, said local leaders should not wait for the government to construct a fully-fledged stadium.
President Museveni in 2009 pledged government would construct an international sporting facility in Lira District in memory of the country’s first Olympic gold medalist, the late John Akii-Bua.
Accordingly, the government recently spent millions of shillings in the implementation of preliminary project work on the 18-acre controversial site in Erute Parish, Central Division in Lira Municipality.
This was after Mr Alex Oremo Alot, the Lira District chairman, on behalf of his administration, handed over the site to the Ministry of Education and Sports three years ago.
On February 12, 2016, Mr Sam Odongo, the assistant commissioner of sports at the Education ministry, received the land on behalf of the government.
The line ministry has since built a pit-latrine and a pavilion at the site as government continues sourcing funds needed to implement the multi-billion project.
At least $125m (about Shs461 billion) is needed for the construction of the facility, which will have an international aquatic centre, indoor gymnasium, stadium, training field and hotel.