The Inter-Parliamentary Games kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya on Friday afternoon with defending champions, Parliament of Uganda holding EAC/EALA to a one-all draw in an entertaining match played at the Nyayo National Stadium.
The Group B match was a balanced affair with both teams missing opportunities in the first half. Uganda’s Hon Dennis Obua who was a constant thorn in the flesh of the EAC defence marshaled by Hon Bernard Mulengani, could have scored a spectacular goal in the fifth minute.
On the other side, the EAC Strikers, Wyclif Keto and Hon Emmanuel Nengo also missed several chances to take the lead. At half-time, both teams had failed to find the net forcing the coaches to make substitutions immediately on resumption.
The EAC/EALA team scored the first goal in the 62nd minute of the match when striker Iddi Jamal pounced on to a loose ball and evaded two defenders to slam the ball into the net.
The Parliament of Uganda strikers however turned on the pressure and it paid off six minutes later when Hon Mohammed Nsereko unleashed a screaming shot into the back of the net for the equalizer.
The EAC team then made substitutions bringing in Hon Straton Ndikuryayo for Hon Christophe Bazivamo and rested their first choice goalkeeper who was injured.
The chief guest was the Speaker of the EALA, Rt. Hon Dr Margaret Nantongo Zziwa who was accompanied by Hon Victor Munyaka, MP, Machakos constituency as well as Mr. Jeremy Ngenyenye, Clerk Designate of the Senate of the Kenya National Assembly and Mr. Justin Bundi, Clerk Designate of the Kenya National Assembly.
Group A features Parliament of Tanzania, Kenya National Assembly and the Parliament of Rwanda while EAC/EALA and Parliament of Uganda are in Group B. Last year’s losing finalists, Burundi National Assembly are unable to participate.
For the first time, the games are also featuring Netball. Four teams, Parliament of Uganda, EALA/EAC, Parliament of Tanzania and the Kenya National Assembly are featuring.
The EALA/EAC team will lock horns with the Parliament of Uganda at the Nyayo National Stadium in-door gymnasium. EALA Speaker Rt. Hon Dr. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa and her counterpart, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga are expected to feature in the netball match.