On several occasions, Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has publicly recognized and rewarded accomplished athletes with luxurious vehicles and homes following their outstanding performances in international competitions.
In 2013, President Museveni announced that athletes winning medals in the African Continental Championships, Commonwealth Games, and Olympic Games would receive monthly stipends, with Shs 5 million for gold, Shs 3 million for silver, and Shs 1 million for bronze medalists, as a form of recognition for their achievements at that level.
However, in subsequent years, there were reported discrepancies as some athletes claimed they did not receive the rewards they were entitled to from the authorities responsible for administering these incentives, despite the President’s commitments.
In 2021, President Museveni reaffirmed his commitment to honoring Ugandan medalists, and he delivered on this promise by donating three brand new Pajero vehicles to athletes who had won medals at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Among the athletes rewarded were Joshua Cheptegei, who won a gold medal in the 5,000m and a silver medal in the 10,000m, Peruth Chemutai, who secured a gold medal in the women’s 10,000m, and Jacob Kiplimo, who clinched a bronze in the 10,000m final.
Regrettably, despite these promises and commitments, some athletes have expressed disappointment as these pledges have not been fulfilled. Most recently, Moses Kipsiro , a former athlete, revealed that the President promised him a car in 2014 after his performance in Glasgow, but to date, he has not received it, suspecting that it may have been given to someone else.
Furthermore, the President pledged to construct a running track and training camp in Bukwo, the home district of athlete Kipsiro. However, Kipsiro, has reported that no progress has been made in this regard, and the promised Marram Track in Bukwo remains unbuilt.
These concerns from athletes highlight the need for clarity and accountability in fulfilling promises to sportspeople. The question arises whether the recently implemented sports law will address and resolve such complaints from athletes.