Uganda Olympic Committee opposes clause in Sports Bill

The Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) has beseeched Parliament to maintain the status quo in appointment of the Secretary-General of the National Council of Sports (NCS). According to the National Sports Council Act of 1964, the NCS council advertises the vacant position of the secretary-general, conducts interviews, and makes an appointment. The minister only selects members of the council.

However, the Budiope East MP, Moses Magogo, also President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations, in the National Sports Bill, 2021 that he moved as a private member, wants the general-secretary appointed by the minister on the recommendation of the council.

The UOC delegation led by Dunstan Nsubuga, the First Vice President, was on Wednesday, 14 December 2022 appearing before Parliament’s Committee on Education and Sports that is currently scrutinising two sports bills; the National Sports Bill, 2021 and the Physical Activity and Sports Bill, 2022.

Nsubuga told the committee that should the Magogo proposal carry the day, then the checks and balances at NCS would be watered down.

“Once the minister has appointed the council, then the council should select the general-secretary. But if the minister appoints the general-secretary, there will not be checks and balances” – Nsubuga said.

The deputy chairperson of the committee, Cuthbert Abigaba, tasked UOC to explain why they would prefer to have the secretary-general selected by the council other than the minister.

“What is your fear in appointing the secretary-general? What is your current relationship with the National Council of Sports and is there interference?” – he asked.

The position of secretary-general, Nsubuga said, was best occupied by a technical person and not someone simply appointed, adding that issues of allegiance and professionalism would emerge when the council is making decisions.

The NCS mandate incudes developing, promoting and controlling sports activities in Uganda on behalf of government under the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Relatedly, UOC has proposed that gyms and leisure facilities in the country are regulated as several of them are operating as normal businesses without regulation from a sports and physical activity angle.

Nsubuga informed the committee that many sports persons use gyms in the country but there is no one regulating them. He also called for the inclusion of the regulation of electronic (e) – sports like sports betting and gaming among others in the new sports bill saying that this is an emerging area of sports that government should manage.

“We are saying that if you ignore it, then you are going to have a sector that is quite important and influential generating a lot of money that is unregulated,” – Nsubuga said.


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