Preparations to host the 10th edition of the Inter Parliamentary Games (IPG) in Uganda are on course, Hon. Gideon Gatpan, the deputy chairperson of the IPG and also a member of the East African Legislative Assembly, has said.
According to Gatpan, the 2019 edition of the regional games scheduled to take place from 7 to 18 December 2019, will comprise various disciplines including football, netball, volleyball, basketball, tug of war, darts, golf and athletics.
“The aim of the Inter Parliamentary Games is to create a 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,” said Gatpan.
He said this during a media briefing held at Parliament of Uganda on Friday, 15 November 2019, to share the progress made by Uganda so far, to host the 12-day long games.
He clarified on the absence of Rwanda and South Sudan’s engagement participation in the games, saying that the leadership at the respective Parliaments had been communicated to on 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 added.
Hon. Hamson Obua, the chairperson of the central organizing 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 related 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 Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, had committed to Parliament’s full funding of all host activities, with each parliament facilitating its own members. He said that 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.