The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has handed over a 49- seater bus that was donated by Government to the Uganda Cranes National Team.
The bus was a pledge made by President Yoweri Museveni during a luncheon he and his wife hosted for the Uganda Cranes and the She Cranes teams at his country home in Rwakitura on 2nd January, 2018.
The First Lady handed over the bus to officials from the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) at a function held at State House Nakasero on Tuesday. To witness the handover was the State Minister for Sports Charles Bakkabulindi, senior officials from the Education Ministry, National Council of Sports, the Uganda Cranes Captain Hassan Wasswa and a representative from Motor Centre East Africa, the supplier of the bus.
The bus built by King Long Bus Company in China to provide luxurious feel at all times cost Uganda Shillings 584,508,600=, plus 12 million shillings in branding. It has unique features ideal for Uganda’s national team including enough space, safety and fuel economy. It has a fully insulated engine compartment in case of any fire outbreak and is well equipped with automatic fire extinguishers, air conditioning and it provides ample leg room so that players can rest and sit in any angle like people do on the plane. There are other features which will give enough entertainment platform for our players and also has an integrated public address system for the coach to engage with the team during their course of a journey. There is a refrigerator to keep ice packs for medical purposes and cool drinks for the players. The bus is tropicalized to operate in heat and the dusty conditions of Uganda without compromising performance.
“I am happy to handover this bus and I hope the Cranes will find it to be a blessing for them”, said the Mrs. Janet Museveni.
She lauded Uganda’s sportsmen and sportswomen for making Uganda proud when they win medals. “We are getting used to these medals and I hope we won’t start overlooking the fact that these are achievements that come out of hard work”, she said and called upon the Education and Sports Ministry to educate the public about the fact that these achievements don’t just come, but these people work hard to achieve them.
“I know that by God’s grace the best is yet to come until Uganda becomes a household name on the earth. This is a blessing we don’t take for granted and we bless God for it. We thank the Sports leadership for standing behind our sportsmen and women and also salute our government for putting in a lot of effort and motivation into our sports groups”, she added.
The Minister of State for Sports Charles Bakkabulindi observed that since the beginning of last year, things in the Sports sub-sector are moving on well as far as sports development is concerned. He expressed sincere appreciation to President Museveni for maintaining various forms of motivation to the entire Sports fraternity. He cited athletics who are getting their salaries, football players who receive a monthly allowance of one million each a month and other motivations when they have games to play.
“Generally, the President and Government in totality have supported the development of sports in this country. We really appreciate this effort and the presence of this bus being handed over is another sign that the Government headed by President Museveni is committed to the development of Sports”, Bakkabulindi said.
The National Council of Sports Acting General Secretary National Council of Sports Ogwel Patrick said this bus speaks very loudly about Government’s commitment and investment in Sports and it is a testament of the commitment of our Government to provide the best for its citizens including the Sportsmen.
He reported that because of its comfort, safety and other amenities this is the same bus model that was used in the Beijing Olympic games in 2018, FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, the Olympic games of 2012 in London, FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Olympic games 2016 in Brazil and the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“We thank the President for the guidance and support to NCS and the Ministry that has enabled us get enough funding to the extent of procuring a luxurious bus of this kind for our athletes”, he said and thanked the First Lady for her leadership and all the support rendered. We shall continue to celebrate the victories”, Ogwel said.
He also reported that just within a space of one month, Uganda has participated in two major events namely the World Special Olympic Games in Abudabi and Dubai where Uganda grabbed 9 medals and the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark where the Uganda team was able to finish number one for the senior category for the men and where Inspector of Police Joshua Cheptegei won a Gold medal.
First Vice President of FUFA Justus Mugisha thanked the Government of Uganda and the Education and Sports Minister for the support they have consistently made to Sports in the recent years.
“From the time you became the Minister of Education and Sports, Uganda Cranes has qualified four times and there must be magic that you have brought to this Ministry and we thank you so much for your prayers”, FUFA’s Vice President told Mrs. Janet Museveni.