Port-Gentil — When news filtered through that the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga was to visit the Uganda Cranes camp at their Hotel du Parc base ahead of the game against Egypt on Saturday night in Port Gentil, one of the players sent a message to a colleague asking about what time he anticipated each would receive his cash tonic.
For some reason, the players thought that the Speaker was going to give each one of them cash as part of the Shs224m that the legislators contributed as a sign of appreciation to the team for qualifying for the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2017.
When Parliament unanimously agreed on January 10 to raise the money, the Speaker was quoted as saying that she would take the money to the players in Gabon herself. On arrival at Hotel du Parc, Kadaga accompanied by the Sports Minister Charles Bakkabulindi and a few MPs was immediately taken to a closed door meeting with Fufa officials. A a player speaking on condition of anonymity with an undertone of mistrust revealed that the general feeling amongst them was that in that meeting the Speaker was advised against giving cash to the players and instead send it to the Fufa account.
However Daily Monitor has reliably learnt that the money was sent to the Fufa account before the Speaker left for Gabon. Speaking after handing over a dummy cheque to captain Geoffrey Massa, Kadaga said that Fufa were mandated to ensure that the money is properly accounted for and make sure that every player receives his share.
One player, who preferred anonymity, expressed his disappointment that Kadaga was not carrying cash.
“Right now we don’t have a single coin,” he said.
“They gave us $2,000 (about Shs7m) when we were in Dubai which we used because we knew we would get more once we get here.
“We are told that the rest of the money has been sent to our accounts but we are not sure. The boys were hoping that we would get some more money today.”
The Fufa president Moses Magogo informed the Speaker that each of the 23 players in Gabon had been given $7,500 (about Shs25m) but three players we talked to dismissed Magogo’s disclosure.
Minister Bakkabulindi has also pointed out that his ministry in conjunction with Parliament is going to make a strict follow up to ensure that each player gets the amount they are entitled to. Ideally, each player should get Shs9m.