Celebrated marathon runner Stephen Kiprotich has expressed frustrations over the inconsistency in payment of his monthly presidential stipend, saying he has only received the money four times in the last three years.
The Olympic and World champion is entitled to Shs5m monthly stipend for his exploits. Kiprotich ended Uganda’s four-decade wait for Olympic gold medal with marathon victory at London 2012.
“The stipend suddenly stopped coming in. In 2017, I received, in 2018 twice, in 2019 once, and even this year I have received once,” Kiprotich told Daily Monitor at the Uganda Tokyo Run 2020 in Kapchorwa.
The presidential stipend also covers other national track and field sporting heroes such as international silver medalists, who are entitled to Shs3m per month, and bronze medalists who earn Shs1m.
In 2013, Kiprotich won another gold at Moscow World Championships, but he has received less than a year’s worth of entitlement since 2017, the marathoner said.
“Whenever we seek audience to address the issue to the President, we are blocked. I have written several letters to him but I have never received any response,” he said.
State House advice
Besides the stipend, Mr Museveni also built a house for Kiprotich’s parents and pledged a house for him after striking gold in Moscow.
“I want to get my claim to encourage young athletes that their entitlement would be paid,” he said.
Mr Don Wanyama, senior presidential press secretary, said there might be issues with resources.
“The matter of the stipend is handled by State House comptroller Lucy Nakyobe. I’m sure Kiprotich can meet her at Okello House for a better explanation,” he added.
Attempt to reach Ms Nakyobe or Ms Norah Nassimbwa, the State House officer in charge of sports, for a comment were futile but Kiprotich remains hopeful in his pursuit.