PM Nabbanja: Shs100b for Akii-Bua Stadium ready

Premier Nabbanja delivesr her speech during the homecoming ceremony for Kenneth Omona in Gulu City. PHOTO/TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINY

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Uganda will co-host the 2027 Afcon in 2027 with Kenya and Tanzania. 

GULU. The government has said that the Shs100b that Parliament recently appropriated for constructing then Akii-Bua Memorial Stadium in Lira City is ready.

At the weekend, the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja confirmed that the funds allotted for the construction works on the facility are ready and that the works will kick off in the 2024/2025 financial year.

Nabbanja was speaking as a chief guest at the homecoming party for the new state minister for Northern Uganda, Kenneth Olusegun Omona, held in Gulu.

In her statement, under the same intervention, Nabbanja said that President Museveni directed the funding for the stadium development and ordered the refurbishment of two key roads in the region.

“Let me take this opportunity to inform the people of Lango that we put Shs100b in the  budget of 2024/25 to work on Akii-Bua Stadium. So, people of Lango, if that is the condition for votes in 2026, we are ready to move.” Nabbanja said.

“The President also directed that we should work on the road from Gulu airport (currently under construction) up to Lira; that's also one of those areas that will be worked on under the same project, and the contractor has already been procured.

"We are also going to work on the road from Gulu airport up to the Bank of Uganda (within Gulu City)." 

She was reacting to a statement by the Lira district chairman, Richard Cox Okello, who challenged the Premier and the government not to dare the Lango subregion for votes once they fail to build the facility.

“If you want Lango to have peace and score even better in the next election, make Akii-Bua Stadium project number one. If you joke with Akii-Bua Stadium, then you are joking with votes; you must not joke with it because that is the heart of Lango,” Okello said.

John Akii-Bua was a Ugandan hurdler and the first Olympic champion from his country Uganda and Africa at large. At the time of his death in 1997 at the age of 47, Akii-Bua was destitute.   

Uganda will co-host the 2027 Afcon in 2027 with Kenya and Tanzania. 

Omona’s homecoming ceremony was also attended by the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, the Government Chief Whip Denis Hamson Obua, MPs across the region, and local government leaders, including religious and cultural leaders, among others.

Judith Alyek, the chairperson of the Lango Parliamentary Group, says that the government should speed up the stadium's development.

A recent decision by the government to build a stadium in Hoima and not Lira due to proximity with associated facilities, sparked uproar among political leaders across the Lango sub-region over the decision.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) guidelines require stadiums hosting the games to be within a 50km radius of an international airport plus five-star accommodation facilities among others.