The Ugandan government’s decision to abandon the construction of the Aki-Bua Stadium, designated to host the AFCON 2027, has ignited protests from Members of Parliament (MPs) representing the Lango sub-region.
The Aki-Bua Stadium, named after the legendary Ugandan athlete John Akii-Bua, was envisioned as a crucial infrastructure project for the Lango sub-region. However, the government’s recent backtrack on its commitment to construct the stadium has sparked outrage among MPs, who argue that the region’s lack of roads and an airport is not a valid excuse for abandoning the project.
Judith Alyek, the Member of Parliament for Kole District, expressed her disappointment with Minister of State for Sports, Peter Ogwang, accusing him of reneging on the government’s promise to build Aki-Bua Stadium. Alyek labeled the decision as malicious and called for a meeting between MPs and the President to address the issue.
Samuel Opio, representing Kole North, questioned Uganda’s readiness to host AFCON 2027 if the government cannot fulfill its commitment to construct the necessary infrastructure. Opio highlighted the contradiction between the government’s promise to secure funds for the project in its bid to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and its current claim of insufficient funds.
Tony Ayoo, the MP for Kwania County, raised concerns about prioritizing Hamis Kiggundu’s Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium over Aki-Bua.
Ayoo criticized the cramped conditions around Nakivubo and the potential disruption to businesses in downtown Kampala, emphasizing the safety and security challenges associated with the central business district location.
Paul Omara, representing Otuke County, warned that the abandonment of Aki-Bua would hinder the development of infrastructure in Lango, a region already lagging behind with only 3% of paved roads. Omara lamented the need for constant struggles to secure essential investments for the region.
The government’s explanation for abandoning the Aki-Bua Stadium revolves around a lack of funds.
In response Speaker Anitah Among has issued a warning to members of parliament in the Lango sub-region, warning them against blackmailing government. She also stated that any would damage Uganda’s reputation at the Confederation of African Football (CAF).