Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government is suspending issuance of licenses to gambling and gaming companies. This was announced by State Minister for Finance David Bahati, at the closure of the 2019 Brethren Conference of the Diocese of Kigezi this afternoon.
Bahati, who was representing President Yoweri Museveni at the event, said that the government will also not renew licenses for already existing gaming companies once the running licenses expire. Bahati says the directive follows concerns, especially from religious leaders that Uganda’s teenagers were wasting their lives on bets on football games.
Critics say that Ugandan youths are trapped in a vicious cycle of betting, staking their little earnings while believing that they might win a jackpot in every stake. They add that online betting has reduced productivity among Uganda’s youngsters, sinking families further into poverty.
Bahati said that the government wants to take charge of the industry to ensure that Ugandans work their way to prosperity instead of expecting sudden cash, based on speculation and uncertainty.
However, the chairperson of National Gaming Board Uganda Manzi Tumubweine said that his office had not yet received an official communication on the pronouncement.
The president’s message also hailed the Bishop of Kigezi Diocese, Rt. Rev George Bagamuhunda and the Bishop of Kabale Diocese, Rt Rev Callist Rubaramira for fighting against religious extremism in Kigezi region and promoting Education, hygiene, and sanitation through the construction of free gravity flow schemes in in various sub counties in Kabale district among others.
Museveni donated sh50 million towards the construction of the Kigezi Diocesan Women house. Other collections for the day included 15 million shillings from Minister Bahati, 1,237 bags of cement and 150 million Shillings in cash and pledges from parishioners.