Akii bua

Akii Bua Stadium cleared for construction, but……  

(Last Updated On: 1 March 2024)

Lira | Joint Venture of Khator Sports and SAMCO, Egyptian entities have been awarded a contract to construct Akii Bua Stadium in Lira City, Lango sub-region. 

The award followed the government of Uganda’s U-turn to approve Akii Bua stadium to co-host the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) in 2027.

State minister of sports, Peter Ogwang, was in Lira on Thursday with some of the Egyptian delegations.

Alongside teams from the Ministry of Education and Sports, National Council of Sports and FUFA, on February 29, Ogwang handed over the site to the contractors.

Local leaders, including some MPs and sports fans, witnessed the event.

The minister said the stadium is expected to host four Afcon games, adding that other negotiations are on.

According to Ogwang, Akii Bua Stadium will be constructed at $70m, revealing that it will be completed within 20 months.

An MOU was signed between the Joint Venture and the government of Uganda, according to the minister. The contractor will finance and build the stadium through a pre-finance basis, he added.

Also read: Exclusive: Gov’t, FUFA clash over Akii Bua stadium exclusion

Minister Ogwang who has been seen as an enemy of Lango regarding his earlier statement on Akii Bua in 2023, asked local leaders to create a conducive environment for the project.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to developing sports infrastructure in other regions.

In Gulu, the current airport will also be constructed to meet the global standards, he said.

To leaders, he asked them to kick off politics in the project because “Mama Janet Museveni and President Museveni have already given directives for the construction of Akii Bua Stadium”.

The stadium is expected to be handed over to the government before December 31, 2025.

Akii bua

Tonny Ayoo, Kwania County MP, pledged total support for the project and asked the people of Lango to embrace it.

Also read: Tortoise speed construction of Akii Bua stadia questioned

MP Ayoo apologises on behalf of the Lango Parliamentary Group and the people to minister Ogwang for massive negative statements and comments against him especially last year.

When he (minister Ogwang) spoke to Lango through local radio stations that the NRM government was not ready to build Akii Bua to co-host Afcon, a high volume of tirades were thrown at him.

Mayor of Lira City Council Sam Atul told the Thursday gathering that Lira City is more developed than other Cities across the country.

Atul said the City has many investors and the government needs to bring more services to Lango, like upgrading some of the roads.

The LC5 of Lira district RCM Okello Orik said the district gave land, advising that Akii Bua Stadium must be a modern one like any other stadium across the world.

Orik added that Lango has been gifted in games “and this is the opportunity the government must consider Lango for so that we all achieve”.

Meanwhile, the senior presidential adviser in charge of Lango, Sam Engola encouraged the minister to ensure that this project must be fulfilled within the allocated time.

“Akii Bua Stadium was bringing too much politics among the leaders in Lango,” said Engola. He later announced that president Museveni had pledged to donate a new bus to Lango Province Team.

Lira district woman MP, Linda Agness Auma is not moved by the Thursday event and explanations given by the minister.

Auma, also the publicity secretary of Lango Parliamentary Group, shared her thoughts and key questions. 

“If I may ask, how can a contractor be handed over to the site without a contract? Because there’s something contradicting the reason that the attorney general and the ministry of finance are working on the contract. Is the construction being funded by this Egyptian firm or company? 

“How much is the contract sum? Is it a loan or a grant, what are the terms of the contract?

“Let’s keep on praying, we are grateful for the good gesture on Akii Bua though there’s something not clear.

“On the 10th, the ministerial policy statement for the coming financial year will be presented to Parliament. We are waiting for the position of government on Akii Bua. But we will not give up and this is not the time to celebrate but we should be keen and alert.”

Last year, a hashtag, #NoAkiiBuaForAfconNoVotes was created, petitions were made and social media platforms, especially WhatsApp groups became critical in mobilising people to propel the government to respond.

Reporting by Arao Denis & Milton Emmy Akwam

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