Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The proposed construction of a multi-purpose sports facility by the International Boxing Association-AIBA has stalled due to the delayed response by the Uganda Land Commission to allocate land to the Uganda Boxing Federation, URN has learnt.
The Federation president Moses Muhangi, says that the Commission is yet to respond to the president’s directive to allocate the federation 10 acres for the construction of the multi-purpose sports facility.
On September 13, 2021, President Museveni directed the chairperson of Uganda Land Commission Beatrice Nyakaisiki in writing to identify and allocate the Boxing Federation at least 10 acres of land for the construction of an amateur boxing facility.
“The President of the Uganda Boxing Federation appealed to me for allocation of the government land to the Federation. The Federation intends to partner with the International Boxing Federation to construct a state of the art academy,” reads Museveni’s letter in part.
Adding that, “Since Government has always supported the development of sports. You should identify and allocate at least 10 acres within a radius of 30 miles from Kampala to them. However, clear covenants should be included in their lease agreement so that government can repossess the land if they are unable to develop it within a given period. You should work with the Ministry of Education and Sports on the matter”.
Museveni’s letter was in response to Muhangi’s appeal to the government to allocate them land to set up an international multi-purpose facility for boxing worth US$ 5million donated by the International Boxing Association- AIBA, which tasked the federation to find suitable land to host the facility.
However, six months since the president’s directive, Muhangi says that they are yet to receive the land. “The Uganda Land commission has not acted as the presidential directed, either they have rejected it or they have disregarded it because ever since the President gave a directive, we had the ministry of education and sports write to them, but they have not called us, so the Uganda Land commission is basically frustrating the process,” Muhangi said.
Adding that, “And by doing so they delayed the process of which even the funders might withdraw their funds and instead go and invest somewhere else because the fund is not there for a lifetime. We have made attempts to engage Uganda Land Commission but there is no response. We made an effort to meet with the outgoing chairperson, she promised to get back to us, then nothing has happened.”
Muhangi revealed to URN that the Federation has already approached the Buganda Kingdom for an alternative due to the delayed compliance of the Uganda Land Commission. He said that the kingdom has already offered to give them land for the facility.
“The Buganda Kingdom is proposing to give us land, we think it is as an alternative, they have identified land although it is out of town, the one of President Museveni would be ideal because it was supposed to be in a radius of 30 miles from Kampala, which makes it closer to town and given that the facility we want to build is supposed to be income-generating, it needs to be in town so that people can use it and generate income, but if you take it far away from town, then you will never maintain, it will break down,” Muhangi said.
The Uganda Land Commission officials couldn’t be reached for comment by the time of publishing this story since they were away from the office. The facility is planned to be full-sized and equipped so that all potential boxers, officials and other stakeholders have access to its facilities.
The facility will also have an academy that will provide core and supporting programs to cover key areas and components: development courses for athletes, coaches, R&J, sport and competition managers.
AIBA President Umar Kremlev said earlier that the boxing academy in Uganda will establish the best practice standards related to techniques and sciences in the overall development of boxing. “It will aim to grant holistic support and boxing programs for anyone who has an interest in sports and boxing in general,” he said.
If the facility is set up, it will come as a relief and a game-changer for Uganda’s sports industry as it will create another option of an indoor stadium in the country. Uganda only relies on the MTN Indoor Arena in Lugogo. The other option is the incomplete Makerere University Arena in Makerere University.