Minister Muyingo tasked to act fast on Silverbacks’ funding

Sunday August 01 2021

Minister Chrysostom Muyingo


State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo must report to parliament with a final word on the men’s national basketball team - Silverback’s fate regarding the upcoming Fiba Afro basket finals.
The Silverbacks are set to represent Uganda at the continental showpiece slated for Kigali, Rwanda August 24-September 5 and were the topic of debate on the floor of Parliament Thursday afternoon.
With the championship around the corner, the national team committee and Fuba are in a race to find the funds required to have the team camp and prepare to ensure a good show in Kigali.
Muyingo, who represented the Education and Sports Minister, was put on the spot by legislators to explain why the team was not fully-funded by the government going into the last window of qualifiers early July.
Sent to work
The minister was non-committal on having funds ready for the team and was ordered by the deputy speaker of Parliament Anita Among to return to the house with a final word from the ministry on Tuesday.
Fuba requires about $170,000 (about Shs604m) to prepare and have the Silverbacks at the finals and also take the two U-16 teams to the Afrobasket set for next week in Cairo, Egypt.
The federation also says it borrowed $100,000 (Shs355m) to facilitate the team for the final window of the qualifiers. The team camped in Egypt before crossing to Morocco for the game that turned out to be all they needed to make the finals.
It is not often that sport gets the amount of time on the floor of parliament like it did on Thursday. Basketball took the biggest chunk of the time with federation president Nasser Sserunjogi and national team captain Jimmy Enabu following proceedings from the gallery.
Oyam District Women Representative Santa Alum set the ball rolling when she presented a motion for a resolution of parliament to congratulate the Silverbacks and the U-16 boys and girls basketball teams. This was seconded by Budiope East MP and Fufa president Moses Magogo as well as Catherine Ndamira, the Kabale District Women Representative.
In her speech, Alum revealed to the August house how the government had failed to fund the Silverbacks for their trip to Morocco prompting the federation to take a loan to ensure the team completed their qualification.
Magogo and Geoffrey Kayemba, the Shadow Minister of Sports, highlighted the need for revision of the 1964 National Council of Sports (NCS) Act to move with the trends in modern sport.
Kayemba also hinted at plans to have a private members bill on the same matter.
Kalungu West MP Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu, Dr. Lilian Aber, the Kitgum District Women’s representative and Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda all made a case for sport.