Presidency calls for calm after $1m pledge reminder

Wednesday June 24 2020

Captain Fantastic. Onyango took to social media

Captain Fantastic. Onyango took to social media to seek audience with the President about his pledge when the team returned from Egypt last year after being ejected at Afcon’s Round of 16 by Senegal. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO  

By ANDREW MWANGUHYA

Uganda Cranes players have been assured their message has been delivered to President Museveni and will soon get a response from the Head of State.

Cranes captain Denis Onyango led the way on Monday evening as the Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper took to social media to remind the President to come good on his promise.

The President promised to give the players $1m (Shs3.7b) after their knockout performance at the 2019 Afcon finals last June/July.

Captain’s message
“In these tough Covid-19 times with everyone trying to fend for themselves,” Onyango posted on his Facebook page, “We find the timing right to remind you as the No.1 citizen of the Pearl of Africa about the $1m promise soon after our respectable show during the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt last year.”

The Cranes were ejected at the round of 16 by Senegal. That was the first time Uganda had played in the knockout round since 1978, when they were losing finalists. “As a captain,” added Onyango, also a one-time Africa Player of the Year (based on the continent),

“My teammates (some already retired now) have been on my neck humbling requesting (others in a demanding tone because of the desperate times) me to remind you of the promise. “We feel frustrated, unhappy and somewhat under-appreciated that our token of appreciation hangs in balance. We truly believe that you will come to our rescue soonest as you have done in the past.”

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Daily Monitor did reach out to the Presidency about the players’ prayer, and Museveni’s Senior Press Secretary Don Innocent Wanyama sought to calm their nerves albeit without committing on when action would come through.

“For now,” Wanyama said, “The President has been notified of the concern, and he will respond through the right channels. We ask the players to be calm.”
Onyango’s message, which was soon posted by a host of other Cranes players including Farouk Miya and Tadeo Lwanga, was complete with a video of their meeting with the President last July, during which he made the pledge.

amwanguhya@ug.nationmedia.com

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