Photos showing Makindye West MP Allan Ssewanyana giving out Ludo game boards to his constituents have put him in a spotlight with many people on social media accusing him of promoting gambling and idleness among the young people.
A sizable number of internet users have shared the pictures on different social media platforms accusing the legislator of using a “wrong strategy” to help his constituents get out of poverty through gambling.
However, Mr Ssewanyana, a former sports journalist on Sunday told this publication that Ludo is one of the games that are recognized by Uganda National Council for Sports (NCS ) and there was nothing wrong about what he did.
“I have given out footballs, volleyballs and other games equipment which is not bad. The problem is that this game may be looked at as a gambling but it is recommended by the National Council for Sports and it should be taken in high regard,”Mr Ssewanyana said Sunday.
The opposition MP has been at the forefront of advocating for youth inclusiveness in society, promoting of livelihood programmes, a fighter for equal opportunities and good governance.
Mr Ssewanya who has served a member of different boards of sports clubs including Katwe United Football Club located at the heart of his constituency said that as a sportsman, his constituents need to get the advantage of giving them the best of his gifts.
“These games promote creativity and have created jobs for many people across the world not to speak about the youth in my constituency who have gained from these games. I am a sportsman and I didn’t only look at football, rugby, netball and other sports; I also looked at indoor games like chess, draft and Ludo which could earn many youth a living. Sports made me who I am.,” he said.
“Even as I come in for another term as Makindye West MP, my main focus is on sports, among other issues and it will be holistically for the youth. I don’t see any problem with giving out Ludo board games,” he added.
There are reportedly more than 700 known Ludo clubs in Mukono, Kampala Central and Kawempe. Most people in Uganda play the game as a pastime activity at homes or shop verandas. Yet the sport continues to crawl more than 100 years since the Indian Coolies introduced it in Uganda during the construction of the Uganda Railway.
In 2001, Ludo got a nod from NCS being recognised among the more than 50 national sports associations but it took six years to hold the first official national league.