Sports Legislation: Museveni’s Bold Move Unleashes New Era in Athletics

Sports Legislation: Museveni's Bold Move Unleashes New Era in Athletics
Sports Legislation: Museveni's Bold Move Unleashes New Era in Athletics
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President Yoweri Museveni has set the stage for a thrilling new era in sports with his signature on the groundbreaking National Sports Bill, 2023. After two years of tireless efforts, the law has finally come to fruition, merging two bills – one from the Sports Minister Hon. Peter Ogwang and another from the dynamic Fufa president and Budiope East MP, Hon. Moses Magogo.

Amid much anticipation, Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Anita Among, made an electrifying announcement on her X (formerly Twitter) account, confirming the much-awaited assent to the National Sports Bill, 2023 by President Museveni.

Ogwang, taking to his own X account, couldn’t contain his excitement, dubbing this development as “great news” for sports enthusiasts across the nation.

Prepare for a whirlwind of changes! The National Sports Bill, 2023, a product of two years of intense labor, brings about a harmonization of ideas from both government and private sectors. The masterminds behind the bill, Hon. Peter Ogwang and Hon. Moses Magogo, join forces to reshape the very landscape of sports administration and management.

Hold on tight as we delve into the thrilling specifics of this transformative law. Minister Ogwang declares that the law’s mission is to streamline the entire sports ecosystem. It covers everything from the organization and recognition of national sports associations and clubs to the incorporation, registration, and management of these entities nationwide.

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March saw Parliament giving its initial nod to the bill, a strategic move to oust the outdated National Council of Sports Act,1964. This relic was accused of stifling Uganda’s sporting professionalism.

But the real action was just beginning. Museveni, a force to be reckoned with, demanded a deeper dive into certain aspects. These included scrutinizing the composition of the National Council of Sports board and crucial issues surrounding sports facilities on public land. Only then would he bless the bill with his signature.

Let’s not forget the star-studded lineup Museveni himself handpicked for the Council’s board. This lineup, a mix of expertise and representation, guarantees a balanced approach to sports affairs, leaving no room for disappointment.

Land becomes the arena for a fierce showdown. Section 75 takes center stage, transferring ownership of public sports facilities to the Council. Museveni calls for a comprehensive list, a treasure map of sorts, detailing these facilities’ location, size, and proprietors. The power shift is imminent, as NCS gears up to claim control over these sporting landmarks.

Buckle up for more surprises! Say goodbye to the old norm – federations must now register directly with NCS, eliminating the need to go through the trust route. Accountability becomes the name of the game, with annual reports and activities filing being mandatory.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there! Federations are now bestowed with the authority to regulate athletes’ promoters, managers, and agents. And that’s not all – aspiring sports academies must secure approval from these federations to gain recognition under the new act.

In a shocking twist, the National Anti-Doping Organisation emerges as an independent force, safeguarding the spirit of fair play. Cheaters, beware! The new law takes a firm stance against doping, age manipulation, and other deceitful tactics, slapping heavy penalties on wrongdoers.

Hold onto your seats, because the commercial side of sports isn’t spared either. Counterfeit sports gear, sneaky access to events, and unauthorized media production are all off-limits. The penalties? They’ll make your head spin.

Journey through time as we trace the bill’s path to glory:

  • December 10, 2021 – Magogo’s Private Member’s bill hits the scene.
  • November 10, 2022 – Hon. Asuman Basalirwa introduces Magogo’s bill.
  • December 6, 2022 – Government joins the fray with its own bill.
  • The Ministry of Finance approves the Sports bill’s financial implications.
  • Months of harmonization follow as the bill dances between committees.
  • March 2, 2023 – Parliament gives a resounding nod to the National Sports Bill, 2023.
  • May 29 – President Museveni returns the Bill with requested amendments.
  • June 20 – Parliament sends the Bill back to the Committee for revision.
  • June 27 – Parliament heats up with debates on the Committee’s findings.
  • August 21 – The grand finale! The Speaker triumphantly announces the President’s assent to the Bill.
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