Kololo – President Yoweri Museveni has donated three brand new Pajero vehicles to Ugandan athletes who won medals at the just-concluded Tokyo Olympic Games.
The athletes rewarded include Joshua Cheptegei who won a 5,000m gold medal and a 10,000m, silver medal, Peruth Chemutai who won a 10,000m women’s gold medal and Jacob Kiplimo who won a bronze in the 10,000m final.
Museveni rewarded the athletes during the official welcome reception held at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on Wednesday.
The president congratulated the medalists, saying that they have represented the country well, and promised to build houses for the parents of the three medalists.
“Now, these ones who have won Olympic medals, in my happiness because am a happy man now; you know happy men can be generous, I will give each of them a vehicle. They [vehicles] are here already, then finally…I will build houses for the parents of these gold medal people,” said a joyous Museveni.
Museveni also re-affirmed that all Ugandan medalists will receive their arrears for the monthly stipends, a pledge he made since 2013.
He said only three categories of medalists in the African Continental Championships, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games will receive UGX5 million (gold), UGX 3 million (silver) and UGX 1m (bronze) as monthly stipends.
“In my low-cost approach, some time ago, I gave an order but apparently it was not fully implemented that anybody who wins gold at a continental level, Commonwealth or marathon – these things of Berlin what, I don’t know. I just want 3 things, continental, African, Commonwealth or Olympics. I said, once you get a gold medal, you should be paid UGX 5m per month all the time. But now I was told they were being paid quarterly. I didn’t say quarterly, I speak English very well, I said monthly. Maybe I didn’t put it in the local language – buli mwezi (loose translation for Per month),” said Museveni
He added: “I can see some of the people here are rich people because they will have to be paid their back pay which should have been paid. This is my small way of contributing without the billions of Kenya. So UGX5m for gold, UGX 3m for silver and UGX 1m for bronze.”
The president urged the security forces to recruit all young people who have talent so that they can have a permanent salary to help them in their training.
Janet Kataha Museveni, Minister for Education and sports thanked her husband Museveni for facilitating the team in the summer games, she also thanked Japan’s government for hosting Uganda’s contingent throughout the Olympic Games. Mrs Museveni said it was through security brought about by Museveni that Uganda was able to win 4 medals at the Olympics.
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Hamson Obua, the state minister for Sports, also thanked the president and first lady for facilitating the team and guiding the team in the fight against COVID-19.
Flagged off on July 9, Uganda sent a contingent of 25 athletes to the Tokyo Olympic Games. Uganda finished 36th out of the 205 nations and 2nd in Africa.