By Emmanuel Sekago
Juba will come alive on Friday as the 12th edition of the East Africa Community Inter –Parliamentary Games gets underway.
Uganda will be seeking to reclaim the team title from Kenya after relinquishing the crown in 2021 in Arusha, Tanzania. The regional games bring together the National Parliaments of Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) and host South Sudan and will battle for honors in football, basketball, volleyball, netball, athletics, Darts and Tug of War over the next twelve days.
The following are Team leaders; Hon Julius Achom has taken charge of the Athletics deputized by Hon Moreen Osuru, while Hon Linos Ngompek has taken charge of the Football Team.
The Volleyball Team is led by, Hon Mbwa Tekamwa who is the Volleyball captain deputized by Kalangala district woman member of parliament Hon Hellen Nakimuli, while the netball team is steered by Hon Sarah Kayagi, Mbarara City member of parliament Hon Mwine Mpaka and Hon Susan Amero will captain Basketball team.
The Speaker of parliament, Rt Hon Anita Anne Among Magogo will lead the Ugandan delegation and will be accompanied by Government chief whip Rt Hon Hamson Dennis Obua.
The Parliament of Uganda sports team comprising both Members of Parliament and Staff have been training hard for the last one month at Lugogo ground and at National council of sports lugogo arena preparing for the games.
All the participating countries’ Parliament Speakers are expected to officiate at the official opening of the twelve-day event that will take place at the Main Stadium in Juba, South Sudan.
The tournament will feature a walk-race. Other disciplines include football, netball, golf, athletics, tug-of-war, Basketball and volleyball. Athletics will feature races in 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 and 1500 meters respectively for men and women. The 400 x 4 relay is also on the cards.
In football, Uganda will face stiff competition from the other Parliaments keen to dethrone them. Last year Uganda was beaten by Tanzania at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Memorial Stadium in Arusha.
In men’s Volleyball Kenya who are the defending champions will have to put up a good fight with all Parliaments going out guns blazing for the title. In women’s volleyball, all Parliaments are expected to give themselves a good outing with South Sudan expected.
In Netball, Uganda is expected to renew rivalry with the Tanzania since it’s a round robin tournament and last year in Arusha they couldn’t play because of host Tanzania fielding mercenaries with host declared champion dethroning Uganda who now are going to South Sudan with determination of reclaiming the title.
The East Africa Community Inter-Parliamentary Games is a key aspect building on relations between the EALA and the National Parliaments in the EAC region. The Games are held annually and on a rotational basis in the Partner States.