The National Council of Sports (NCS) – a government body mandated to develop, promote and control sports in Uganda has come under the spotlight for allegedly registering briefcase sports federations.
Currently, 51 sports federations have been registered by the NCS and are entitled to government funding to facilitate the implementation of their activities.
The Minister of State for Education and Sports (Sports), Mr Peter Ogwang noted that there is need to re-examine the federations as he suspects some of them only exist on paper and do not account for government funds.
He said this on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, while leading NCS officials before the Select Committee that was recently constituted by the Speaker to investigate activities of the sports council.
The minister added that he has embarked on a field tour to visit all the 51 sports federations to ascertain their status, performance and wipe out suspected briefcase federations.
“We have a role to play in the management of the sports federations. That is why we have the National Council of Sports and I will not leave any stone unturned in ensuring we have legitimate federations. Any Federation that doesn’t account for government funds will not get any more funds,” Mr Ogwang said.
While sharing his experience during his recent visit to some of these sports federations, Mr Ogwang said some of the CEOs do not even meet the basic requirements for running and managing sports federations.
Members of the select committee chaired by Ms Laura Kanushu, the Member of Parliament for Persons with Disabilities, tasked the minister to explain how they were able to register briefcase federations and fund them.
“I thought NCS had criteria with minimum requirements for a federation to be registered and considered for funding. That is your weakness as a council. Do you take the trouble to visit them? It is your duty as a council to serve this government so that you don’t waste resources,” Ms Margaret Makokha, the Namayingo District woman MP asked.
Mr Kanushu demanded that NCS provides a detailed report on the federations’ registration process, reporting, and accountability. “We need to know what qualifies a federation to get government money. But also how do you release money without getting full accountability for monies released in the previous financial year or quarter?” Kanushu asked.
According to Dr Patrick Ogwel, the General Secretary NCS, they spent Shs4.8 billion to facilitate activities of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Shs1 billion for the Fifth Islamic Solidarity games in Turkey and Shs400 million for the 2022 Rugby Sevens World Cup in South Africa among others.