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Govt Delays to Pay Medal Winning Athletes Monthly Stipends

Ugandas Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei and Stephen Kiprotich are among top athletes who are yet to get paid their monthly stipends promised by government.
2012 Olympic gold medal winner Stephen Kiprotich.
Uganda's Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei and Stephen Kiprotich are among top athletes  who are yet to get paid their monthly stipends promised by government.

Dominic Otuchet, Chairman of the Uganda Athletics Federation confirmed to URN on Friday that the athletes are yet to get paid the stipends promised by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

“ They have been waiting since return from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and nothing has been sent to their accounts. The athletes who are meant to benefit from the scheme for winning medals for Uganda at International Championships over 25 in number,” added Otuchet.

He said Cheptegei who won a silver at the 2017 IAAF World Championship in London and two gold medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has not received any payment since last year.

“ We are keeping our fingers crossed because our current performing athletes like Cheptegei have not yet received any of this money. We have had only payments for two months this year and yet there are some months last year that were not cleared,” added the Federation Chairman.

When President Museveni hosted the Commonwealth Games team on return from Australia in April he promised to build houses for the two gold medalists Cheptegei and Stella Chesang, but also made it clear that the payment of the monthly stipends will be effected.

“ We have no alternative but to keep pushing so that the President's office can resume paying the athletes because they are wondering what is happening,” added Otuchet.

In 2010 the Uganda President directed his office to pay every athlete a monthly stipend of Uganda shillings 5 million for gold medal winners, Uganda Shillings 3 million for silver and Uganda Shillings 1 million for bronze. The athletes who are mainly track and field athletes have not been getting this money regularly since.

Edwin Ekiring, a former Africa top ranked player who retired from the national team after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games said he is disappointed he did not benefit from the scheme.

“ I won so many titles while playing for Uganda, but is is disappointing that I failed to get on that scheme after forwarding all my details,” Ekiring told URN.

When URN spoke to the State Minister for Sports, Charles Bakkabulindi he said the government is handling the matter.

Early this year starting in January the government also provided for a monthly stipend of  Uganda shillings 1 million each to be paid to 50 national football team players.

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