Vocal Uganda Boxing Federation President Moses Muhangi has continued to show his dismay with the ‘unfair’ Sports distribution by Parliament and NCS on behalf of Government.
In this new financial year, Boxing will receive Sh300m, a major decline from the Sh3bn from the previous year, despite an increment of 2.5% Sports Budget.
But in all this, FUFA (Football) still have their Sh17bn ring-fenced as they continue to command a lion’s share of the Sh48bn.
“I want to thank Parliament that they were able to increase the budget by 2.5%, which is okay ideally,” Muhangi started while appearing on NTV Morning show hosted by Priscilla Regina Nalwoga.
“But my concern is that this is the same parliament that gave football Sh17bn, and the same parliament that gave Boxing Sh300m.
“Some Federations, about 20 of them will receive Sh10m the whole financial year which means that each quarter they will receive Sh2.5m.
“That very little money and we all know that it can’t take any team to any competition. What is parliament communicating to the Ugandans? Does Sport mean football? What criteria did they use?”
Muhangi expressed his discontent with Parliament for ignoring the recommendation from the Select Committee constituted to investigate the operations of the National Council of Sports (NCS) that stated that there should be a criteria developed by the Ministry of Education and Sports that should be followed before the funds are released.
Muhangi confirmed that Uganda Boxing Federation budget for this year is about Sh15bn that was passed by the General Assembly.
And he revealed his disappointment that their primary Sponsor (Government) will only contribute Sh300m.
Muhangi put much blame on the structure and composition of NCS board which he said should have at least a representative from one of the 52 federations.
“The biggest challenge is Governance, how we are structured as the Council (NCS) – The Minister chooses the board without consultation and that in a way can cause challenges.
“It’s the same board which hires the General Secretary. If they choose not to do the right thing you can’t stop them and we Federations who are direct beneficiaries, if you are unhappy with whatever is going on, the only option you have is either to go to court and by the time you do that you know you are in your exit.
“Federations should be represented at the Council because we are the big actors. We are 52. The Minister can appoint friends or sons but they are prevailing over a sector they don’t know much about.”
It’s strong to note that in the new amended Sports Bill Section 32(2), the NCS Board shall consist of fbe Chairperson and other six members – representative of the sector, ministry responsible for the Sports, Athletes, National Sports Association or the Federation.
And Federations must meet criteria before they are registered again to receive Government funds.
Among the criteria, the Sport must be in 75% of all the Districts in the Country.
“In the whole country, there is only one ring of boxing, this means that the boxer from Katakwi has to travel all the way to Kampala to box from here,” Muhangi said.
He added that Boxing should be a mass Sport if Government provided infrastructure like they have done for Football.
“We can’t be mass because we are not even in Schools because Boxing was suspended from there with no reason. We have tried to engage with them but in vain.”
The self-styled ‘Gong Master’ also noted that it will be appropriate if Government increased on the Sports’ share from funds received by the whole Ministry.
“Sports fall under the Ministry of Education and Sports, and Government invests so much money in that Ministry.
“And Sports is getting about 7.5% of that. The rest is into Education. The reason we are investing in Sports is to Educate in People so that we can make them employable when they graduate so that they can serve the Country.
“Sport does the same thing. We also educate people and make them employable in the shortest time period. A boxer will employ many other people around him. And when you look at the turnover, who employs a person faster, is actually Sports against the Education because it will take 20 years and you are not guaranteed that you will get the job.”
Muhangi said it’s funny that Government invests so much money in someone to last 20 years in school and then come on streets to look for jobs. Yet that time, put in Sports, one will have employed so many people in Sports.
He added: “Let’s rise to a 50-50 or a 30-50 at least. But a 7.5-93.5 share? No. Why would you invest 93.5% in a sector that will employ people after 20 years?”
Muhangi was recently sent to Luzira Prison for issues of Accountability.
Commenting on the matter, he said: “It’s true we receive money from the Government however little they are and must be accountable. But the bigger question is these federations that receive the money, for starters are they empowered to get these funds? In terms of their capacity, existence, do they have the secretariat and accountants, are there procurement procedures?
“I don’t want to be misquoted on this but there are so many federations that receive the money but they don’t have offices. And you will find that there is only one person who is working in the Federation but then they still receive Government funds. That kind of situation, how do you account for funds?”
“What I am trying to say is that there is no assured funding to Federations. Until you get to that stage of growth, you can only rely on Government support. Where our question has always been, let’s agree on how these funds are distributed so that we are able to empower our secretariat with qualified people who can account for these funds.
“That’s where we are having a missing link and most federations are wanting on accountability.
“Every institution has a process of growth, to be able to manage and account for Government funds, you need to have a system in place. We have a Secretariat but the people who we work with may not be qualified to be able to handle funds.”
“Let’s at least agree on what kind of amount can come as seed capital to help all these Federations have functioning Secretariat just like it is with Football, they receive so much money and that helps them to hire professionals to account for these funds.
“Other Federations do not have that chance.”