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Uganda Spends UGX 200m on Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Qualifiers

The committee had initially drawn a budget of 1.8 billion Shillings for training and participation of 54 athletes in athletics, badminton, power lifting and golf with the hope of qualifying for the Tokyo games due to take place between August 25 and September 6.

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Government released  200 million Shillings for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the President of Uganda Paralympic Committee, Mpindi Bumali has said.

The committee had initially drawn a budget of 1.8 billion Shillings for training and participation of 54 athletes in athletics, badminton, power lifting and golf with the hope of qualifying for the Tokyo games due to take place between August 25 and September 6.

However, the budget was cut initially to 650 million Shillings and later to 200 million Shillings, which has already been spent or committed to facilitate the athletes, government and technical officials during the qualification events.  One of the qualifiers was held last week in Morocco, while the other will be held in Spain on March 13.

The funds are earmarked for training, air tickets, visa fees, accommodation and uniforms among other items. Bumali says that due to budget cuts, the committee had to reduce the number of athletes from 54 to 10 for the Morocco event.

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The Committee now plans to take seven athletes to Spain for another round of qualifiers.  Although athletes have the last chance to qualify for Tokyo in May at the Tunisia qualifiers, Ugandan has decided not to participate because of limited funding.

Mpindi explains that a decision was also taken to reduce expenses on allowances for each delegate from the standard 2.2 million Shillings to 500,000 Shillings.

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Mpindi says that their preparations were however affected when Uganda Revenue Authority impounded the four wheelchairs that had been procured from the United Kingdom for the athletes.  Although URA later waived off the tax, Entebbe Handling Services-ENHAS is demanding 4.8 million Shillings to release the consignment from its stores.        

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