By Nasser Kasozi
Uganda hosts the10th edition of the annual East African Community Inter-Parliamentary games starting in Kampala starting on 8th to 18th December and will kick off with football and netball matches between Parliament of Uganda staff and that of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), on Sunday 8, December 2019 The first match will be held at St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende at 2pm.
The games are organized by East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) whereas the Parliament of Uganda is hosting the games that will be played at various fields and grounds in Kampala and Wakiso areas until 18 December 2019.
Accordingly this year’s EAC inter-Parliamentary games have attracted the national parliaments of member states including, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and EALA, the regional assembly. While Key other members Rwanda the South Sudan opted out of the games citing financial difficulties to pay the required fee of 20000 Us Dollars.
The Chairperson, Organizing Committee, Hon. Peter Ogwang, said that the games are going to be an opportunity that will help enhance relationship between member’s states and it will determine the future of the community and integration program of EAC member states.
“We hope to use this opportunity to interact and build further on the block of integration; we encourage everyone to embrace the East African Community,” Ogwang said at a press conference held at Parliament on Friday 6 December 2019.
These games are crucial and are a symbol of fostering integration in the East African region will be played under the,
Theme; “EAC one spirit, one destiny – Strengthening Integration through 10 years of Inter-Parliamentary Games.”
The opening event will start with a pre-tournament conference discussing the achievements of the EAC before a march by all participants from Parliament Building to Kibuye, along the way to St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende Entebbe road one of the key local paly fields and a venue for sporting activities.
The 10th edition of the inter-parliamentary games of regional parliaments brings competition among parliamentarians with parliamentary staff and participants from the six national parliaments, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and EALA, but this time around only four will be represented this causes diplomatic questions and about the future of the integration?
However, Commissioner Ogwang told the press that, Rwanda and South Sudan will not be able to participate in the games for reasons not communicated to the Parliament of Uganda. Yet they are key members and Rwanda has the membership of the community and the speakership of the regional parliament, when it snubs such crucial games it raises a lot of tension and the future of the community and brotherhood.
“We were informed by EALA who are the organizers of this tournament that the two member states will not attend for various reasons that are unclear,” Ogwang said.
The games will be held at various play grounds around Kampala and Wakiso including the, KCCA Grounds Lugogo, the MTN Arena also in Lugogo for all the indoor games, St. Mary’s Stadium Kitende Entebbe road, the Parliament of Uganda gym and precincts, Serena Hotel Kigo for those playing Golf and the Entebbe Golf Course and Mandela National stadium Namboole for the atheletic games and others.
The 10th edition of inter-parliamentary games will feature sporting activities including: football, netball, volleyball, basketball, athletics, golf, tug of war and darts.