First son and Commander Land Forces (CLF) Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba paid over Shs180m to rescue Uganda’s national basketball team The Silverbacks after his mother Janet Museveni’s Ministry of Education and Sports failed to facilitate the team to pay its hotel bills.
The Silverbacks but up a commendable performance in the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda, but fell to Cape Verde.
Rwandan hotel Park Inn by Radisson had threatened not to let The Silverbacks leave until they cleared the over Shs180m owed in accommodation fees.
But Kainerugaba offered help to the basketball team which would have continued to suffer embarrassment in Kigali which enjoys frosty relations with Kampala.
The first son said he was impressed by The Silverbacks.
“Our great basketball players have demonstrated the hearts of warriors. We are very proud of the Silverbacks for reaching the quarterfinals of Afro basketball 2021. We shall continue to improve! God bless Uganda!” said the CLF.
Federation of Uganda Basketball Association President Nasser Sserunjoji praised the first son for paying the Silverbacks bills.
“The Silverbacks men’s team would like to thank Gen. Kainerugaba for coming to the rescue of the National Basketball team in Kigali. Gen Kainerugaba has paid all our hotel bills and has personally ensured we leave Kigali with no credit. We thank you for loving and supporting Basketball,” said Sserunjoji.
Weeks ago, Parliament urged Janet Museveni’s education and sports ministry to offer funding to The Silverbacks.
But the first lady’s sports ministry has failed to do so, prompting the first son to clear the team’s bill that could have otherwise been catered for under a sufficient budget vote.
Before the games started, National Council of Sports Secretary General Dr Bernard Ogwel handed over Shs340m to Sserunjoji facilitate The Silverbacks following concerns by Fuba that the team would miss the tournament over lack of funds.
“The Uganda National Men’s Basketball team (The Silverbacks) is on the verge of missing out on Africa’s most prestigious tournament Afro basket2021 due to lack of funds,” Sserunjogi had cried out.
Kainerugaba had responded by assuring him his mother’s ministry and father’s government would support the team.
“We shall support our great basketball players! I have spoken to Honourable Janet Museveni on this issue. She has promised to help,” said Kainerugaba then.