Government has revealed that due to underfunding, it has opted to seek financial assistance from the People’s Republic of China for the construction of Akii Bua Olympic Stadium whose establishment has stalled for years.
This was revealed as officials from the Ministry of Education led by the Minister, Janet Kataha Museveni appeared before the Parliamentary committee on Education.
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alex Kakooza told the committee that despite the performance of 4 percent of the Akii Bua Stadium, no allocations towards its construction has been made in the Financial year 2019/20.
The Ministry has since received Shs 665m for the project and the funds were channeled to Lira district local government to implement the construction process.
The Ministry first channeled Shs 400m to Lira local government in the 2015/16 financial year, Shs175m in the 2016/17 financial year and Shs 90m in the 2017/18 financial year.
The money is said to have been used for opening the boundaries of the land, clear and level the field which measures 18.445 hectares, as well as for construction of access roads and drainage channels.
Kakooza told legislators that due to under-funding, further activities beyond preliminary works cannot take place.
“Ministry of Finance is consequently exiting the project from the Public Investment Plan in FY2019/20 because the low funding levels cannot deliver a stadium. This is to enable government be in position to secure financing for the stadium,” Kakooza said.
He added that the Ministry of Education has under the guidance of President Yoweri Museveni made a final project proposal and application through Ministry of Finance for financing the construction of the Akii Bua Olympic Stadium from the People’s Republic of China under a grant and interest-free loan.
In November last year, the COSASE committee of Parliament was forced to hand over three government officials to Police CID in connection with stalling the construction of Akii Bua Memorial stadium in Lira District.
The Lira Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mark Tivu and the District Engineer, Hudson Omok were handed to Police after they interfaced with the committee of Parliament.
It happened a week after the Commissioner of Physical Education and Sports in the Ministry of Education, Peter Omara was handed over to CID after he failed to account for the Shs 665 million given for preliminary work for the sports facility.
The COSASE committee had learnt that the Lira district administration started the construction of the stadium without the architectural plan as required by law.