Uganda’s First Lady Hails Tycoon Kiggundu Over World-class Nakivubo Stadium

Hon Janet Kataaha Museveni, Uganda’s First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, commended businessman Hamis Kiggundu for upgrading Nakivubo Stadium to align with contemporary requirements.

Mrs Museveni who on Tuesday, February 20, paid a courtesy visit at the stadium premises in Nakivubo, was left impressed by the world-class facilities at the stadium which is one of the selected venues for Uganda in hosting the AFCON 2027.

“The NRM government is very proud to see the example of our young people beginning to build Uganda by putting up projects such as this one. We congratulate Ham Kiggundu for this excellent job,” Mrs Museveni said as she appreciated first-hand how the rebuilt facility looks like especially inside.

During the Tuesday tour, Hon Janet was taken around the over $ US200 million investment by the young developer tycoon Ham Kiggundu who has delivered a new excellent world-class sporting facility at the Nakivubo War Memorial Grounds.

The renovation project, spearheaded by the businessman, has made significant progress in transforming the stadium into a state-of-the-art sports facility, with the stadium’s official reopening slated for early 2024.

Businessman Hamis Kiggundu (3rd L) accompanies First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni on a walk at Nakivubo Stadium tuff on Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The First Lady’s visit comes shortly after the youthful billionaire, received a commendation from President Museveni for his work on the Nakivubo Hamz Stadium in preparation to co-host the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2027.

Uganda is set to host the continental tournament for the first time in the country’s history but in a joint effort along with Kenya and Tanzania.

The New Nakivubo Stadium

The new Nakivubo stadium, which is estimated to be worth shs54 billion has a football pitch, two suspended floors, a two-level pavilion, netball grounds and a roof.

The 35000-seater facility is also expected to house other sports activities like athletics, netball, boxing, volleyball and bodybuilding, among others.

Businessman Hamis Kiggundu (3rd L) accompanied by First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni and Sports Minister Peter Ogwang at Nakivubo Stadium on Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The stadium features a fully installed artificial turf, goalposts, and corner flags. It has been designed to meet international standards, reflecting an ultra-modern look. The VIP sections and indoor facilities have been fitted with seats, and the overall completion of the stadium is eagerly anticipated.

Navigating Setbacks

Hamis Kiggundu, a young tycoon and selfless businessman, has previously scoffed at nay-sayers whom he said have little or no knowledge about the project. Like any other project, Ham says the renovation of Nakivubo Stadium has been marred by setbacks.

One of which he says is the intense criticism from the public accusing him of allegedly prioritising the development of nearby shopping malls over the stadium. Additionally, Ham says the structural reviews and legal disputes further delayed progress, with the project stalling for almost a year. The COVID-19 pandemic added to these challenges, limiting workers’ access to the site and causing a suspension of activities for six months.

However, the ambitious business mogul has vowed that he will not be distracted by anyone, adding that the multi-billion project will continue as planned.

And with the renovations now nearing completion, the vindicated businessman says the progress of the project has helped address the scepticism he faced earlier, remarking on those who doubted the project’s success. “Some Thomases (doubters) could laugh and say all sorts of words. This finished product is here, where are they?” Kiggundu wondered.

Businessman Hamis Kiggundu in the company of the First Lady and Education Minister, Hon Janet Kataha Museveni at Nakivubo Stadium on Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The completion of the new stadium, gives Ugandan an opportunity to host the 2027 AFCON alongside Kenya and Tanzania will promote the three countries and positively impact economies, especially the tourism sector.

AFCON is one of the most prestigious football tournaments on the continent, attracting teams from across Africa and a global audience.

The revitalized stadium and the privilege to host the games have inspired a renewed sense of pride among Ugandans, which is exactly what Ham set out to do.

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