By Frank Kamuntu
The East African Community (EAC) Parliamentary games 2019 edition scheduled to take place from 7 to 18 December 2019, will be hosted by Uganda.
The games will comprise various disciplines including football, netball, volleyball, basketball, tug -of-war, darts, golf and athletics.
Gideon Gatpan, the deputy chairperson of the IPG and also a Member of the East African Legislative Assembly, told the media on Friday that “Preparations to host the 10th edition of the Inter-Parliamentary Games (IPG) in Uganda are on course.”
“The aim of the Inter Parliamentary Games is to create collaboration between the East African Parliaments, to sensitise the citizens on the importance of the East African Community integration process and create a networking platform for business marketing,” added Gatpan.
He revealed this during a presser held Parliament, to share the progress made by Uganda so far, to host the 12-day long games. He however clarified on the absence of Rwanda and South Sudan’s participation in the games, saying that the leadership at the respective Parliaments had been informed about the games but they never confirmed their participation.
“We have a procedure of engagement from the East African Parliament where the communication is through the Office of the Clerk to the Clerks of various parliaments. We have not received confirmation from Rwanda and South Sudan, but we are optimistic that they will participate,” Gatpan noted.
Hamson Obua, the chairperson of the central organising committee for the EAC games, said several fields had been identified for hosting the games, and refuted allegations that some playing fields in the country had been ‘encroached on’.
“Lugogo Indoor Stadium will host indoor games like basketball, volleyball, netball; Phillip Omondi Stadium will host football games and Mandela National Stadium will host athletics and football,” said Obua.
He added that the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, had committed to Parliament’s full funding of all host activities, with each EAC parliament facilitating its own members and all games will be guided by international rules like those of FIFA and CAF for football matches.
“This is a good opportunity for our country and I want to call upon all the people of Uganda to turn up in big numbers to watch Members of Parliament of the East African Community playing in the different sporting disciplines,” Obua said.
The games will also provide an opportunity for citizens of member states to commemorate 20 years since the revival of the East African Community in 1999.