Museveni credits NRM’s peace, UPE for Uganda’s excellence in Tokyo 2020 games and promises houses for parents of the gold winners
President Yoweri Museveni yesterday Wednesday August 11, presented the three medal winners in the just concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympic games with prizes of brand new luxury vehicles.
Museveni handed over keys for brand new vehicles to Joshua Cheptegei the winner of the 5000 m and Silver medalist in the 10,000 m races. Peruth Chemutai who won gold in the 3000 steeplechase also received a brand new Mitsubishi car while Jacob Kiplimo also received a brand new Mitsubishi pickup for winning a bronze in the 10,000m Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He also promised to build houses for their parents.
While addressing Olympians at Kololo Independence Grounds, Museveni said peace, Universal Primary Education UPE and NRM’s low cost techniques of doing things without money are some of the reasons Uganda’s Olympics team did very well.
Museveni chided critics who reportedly said Uganda earned the medals without considerable government investment compared to other countries, but Museveni dismissed the criticism saying it was due to the peace that enabled the athletes to train smoothly.
“This was not a miracle. The fact of the matter is that Uganda is uniquely endowed by both the natural resources and the human resource. The unfortunate thing is that some people don’t see this and they are trying to mess up some of the endowments like the environment,” he said.
Museveni claimed that the ruling NRM government has always supported the sports sector through various institutions like the police and the army.
He further revealed that they are much more willing to do even more for the sector as he directed the armed forces to recruit talented sportsmen and women.
“And because I’m now a happy man because of the medal I will give each of these medalist a car. I will build for their parents a house each,” he said.
The president also reminded the relevant authorities to respect his directive of issuing monthly payments to the medalists.
Assures winners on past pledge
Museveni avoid criticism for making empty promises when he said his staff have not followed his directives made in the past on remuneration of successful sports persons.
“I made an order in 2013 that anybody who wins gold at a continental level, commonwealth or Olympics should be paid UGX 5m per month, UGX3m for silver UGX1 million for bronze. It was not honored…I was told they are being paid quarterly. I didn’t say quarterly. I speak English very well. All their arrears will be paid,” he said.
According to Museveni, there are no longer conflicts in the Ministry of Education and Sports following the appointment of the First Lady, Janet Museveni as the Minister of Education and Sports.
“In the past, they used to have a lot of conflicts in that ministry. But I hear it’s now quiet. I think it’s because of the grandmother approach she introduced there and the several meetings they hold. I always see her going for those meetings,” he said as he lauded the First Lady for her support to the Uganda Olympics team.
In his speech, Cheptegei asked government to support his training center in Kapchorwa District.
“The Joshua Cheptegei high-altitude training center has been supporting young athletes. I have managed to construct about 60% of the center with my own funds and I believe that with your support, we can complete it,” he said.