President Yoweri Museveni over the weekend made a cabinet reshuffle where he dropped several ministers.
Among the dropped included four-time reshuffle survivor- Charles Bakkabulindi, who served as State Minister for Sports. He had been in the position for the last 15 years.
Bakkabulindi was replaced with Ajuri County Member of Parliament Denis Obua Hamson.
Bakkabulindi’s reign was marred by a number of controversies and on top of that in the same period, sportsmen and women lacked sponsorship and on several occasions, they used to facilitate themselves in a bid to raise Uganda’s flag high. Sometimes they used to run to the top office in the country for handouts thus raising questions over the relevance of his Sports office.
Up to now, sports is one of the poorly facilitated sectors with only Shs26.2 billion of the Shs44.4 trillion 2019-20 budget that was read in June this year yet it is the sector that has the potential of employing the current population structure of this country.
Further more,he could not objectively harmonized the Uganda Super League Limited and FUFA 2012 battle about who should run the league hence FUFA controversially suspending the former a day to the return of the league’s second round, a controversy that ended into losing football’s major broadcast partner Super sport in addition to other sponsors like Bell and Eco Bank.
In 2014, Bakkabulindi was ordered by the Constitutional Court judge Geoffrey Kiryabwire to pay costs to Uganda Super League Limited after he was found guilty of disobeying court orders by sanctioning fresh FUFA elections despite court upholding the elections.
Bakkabulindi was at the center of failing Uganda Boxing Union, the body that had brought life back in the sport of professional boxing. The Union had secured potential sponsors who included Power horse Energy Drink, Mogas petrol station, Samona and NBS TV as permanent broadcast partners. The outgoing minister said that Uganda had not yet reached the level of having two professional boxing bodies hence dissolving UBU.
The 2015 Nakivubo Stadium saga is also part of his weakness. He supported the redevelopment of the stadium by businessman Hamis ‘Ham’ Kiggundu but currently the War Memorial facility is a home of business people surrounded by nice looking shopping centers.
Besides hosting football games, the stadium was a home for netball player and boxers.
As if that was not enough, the Sports ministry through the commissioner of physical education and sports ordered Uganda Cycling Association to call for the Extra Ordinary Assembly, amend the constitution and hold elections after continued wrangles among members. The process was followed as suggested but Sam Muwonge who was voted out by the Assembly is still the president of the Association and his activities are still supported by the ministry through National Council of Sports (NCS).
In 2018, Members of Parliament expressed displeasure over the mismanagement of funds disbursed by the Ministry of Education and Sports towards the construction of the Akii-Bua Memorial Stadium in Lira.
MPs on the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), chaired by Anita Among (Bukedea), tasked the NCS officials to follow up on the trail of expenditure of money disbursed towards the development of the stadium.
“The Commission at National Council of Sports should interest itself in what the money has done on the stadium so far. I suggest we ask Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi to make a formal statement on this matter when the House resumes sittings,” said Peter Ogwang (Usuk County).
MPs also wondered why rightful channels of project implementation were not followed, blaming it for the questionable expenditure of over shs600 million already disbursed to the stadium’s construction, according to a report received by the Committee.
These and more might have contributed to his losing of the position.
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