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Nakivubo Stadium Starts Taking Shape After Five Years Under Construction

Ivan Ssewankambo, the leading structural Engineer at Nakivubo stadium construction site told Uganda Radio Network that they faced several setbacks majorly the structure review, which stalled the works for almost a year.
Nakivubo stadium under construction

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Nakivubo War Memorial stadium has started taking shape five years after city businessman, Hamis Kiggundu took over the sports facility for redevelopment. 

He contracted Roko Construction Company, which started work earlier in 2017.  Kiggundu has been under public criticism for deliberately delaying the construction of the stadium and focusing on the arcades and shopping malls around the stadium.   

   

However, Ivan Ssewankambo, the leading structural Engineer at Nakivubo Stadium construction site told Uganda Radio Network that they faced several setbacks majorly the structure review, which stalled the works for almost a year.   

He said they wanted to make provisions for evacuating people in case of danger in the stadium since it surrounded by arcades and shopping malls.

//Cue in: We were doing … 

Cue out: …in any construction,”//  

Ssewankambo also reveals that even the COVID-19 restrictions affected the construction as workers could not easily access the site, which forced the contractor to suspended work for half a year.   

//Cue in: Another challenge …    

Cue out: … September last year,”//    

He is, however, positive with the status of the stadium, saying that almost 70 percent of the work is complete including the VIP Pavilion. According to Ssewankambo, if the work continues at the current pace they will accomplish the task in a year’s time.  

//Cue in: “We see what …

Cue out: … take a year”//

The stadium’s redevelopment also faced a setback with when the Nakivubo Board of Trustees led by Godfrey Mabirizi didn’t warm up to the idea of giving Hamis Kiggundu authority to redevelop the stadium.  Plot 26 and 28, which host Nakivubo stadium belong to M/S Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Trustees as registered proprietors.   

Mabirizi argued that they had entered into a Public Private Partnership with three companies to improve the multi-purpose stadium. These included Nterenfune General Enterprises Limited owned by city businessman, Moses Kayongo, which was to build a modern 10,000-seater pavilion at the facility.  

The current stadium can only host 3000 people.   (M/S Future Uganda Limited) was also expected to build an ultra-modern sitting stand while M/S Bestin Limited) was also to build two other sitting stands.  Two concerned Citizens including George Nyanzi and Joseph Asiimwe also dragged Hamis Kiggundu to court in 2019 for allegedly conniving to mortgage the famous stadium at USD $7 million (about Shs25.9billion).   

The mortgage arrangement is said to have taken place on March 4, 2019.  Before the construction started, several Uganda Football clubs such as Sports Club Villa and Police FC were using the stadium as their home ground. They were forced to move their games to other pitches. Apparently, Police FC hosts its games at the MTN Omondi stadium in Lugogo while SC Villa now hosts its games at Bombo Military Barracks grounds.  

Livingstone Lukanga, a SC Villa fan said that he gave up on the construction Nakivubo after four years, which also affected his match attendance. “I don’t remember any game I missed when Villa was playing at Nakivubo. But travelling to Bombo sometimes becomes hard for me, I still get hurt when I see that stadium taking all this time under construction because this is the home of our team and it’s where the joy starts from,” Lukanga told URN. 

 

Once completed the stadium is expected to host over 35000 people. The stadium will also host other sports such as athletics, Netball and bodybuilding. It will provide an alternative venue for sporting activities. Apparently, International Football governing body FIFA banned Namboole stadium from hosting international games due to its sorry state.

Currently, the only option is St Mary’s stadium Kitende, a private facility owned by former FUFA president, Lawrence Mulindwa.   

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