UgandanPresident Yoweri Museveni has ordered that no new sports betting company should be licensed to operate in Uganda and licences for the existing companies should not be renewed.
The Minister of State for Finance in charge of Planning, Mr David Bahati, said the president gave the directive because sports betting companies have diverted the attention of the youth from hard work.
“We have received a directive from President Museveni to stop licensing sports betting, gaming and gambling companies. The President has now directed the board which has been regulating them….
From now onwards, no new companies are going to be licensed. Those which are already registered, no renewal of licences when they expire,” Mr Bahati told a church congregation at Rugarama Hill in Kabale Town on Sunday.
He was speaking at the closure of a four-day conference where he represented the president as chief guest. The conference was organised by the Kigezi Diocese.
Mr Bahati said church leaders who have been against sports betting now had their prayers answered.
However, the Ministry of Finance spokesman, Mr Jim Mugunga, said he was not aware of the directive but added that since it was communicated by a minister, he cannot doubt it.
“I don’t know but since it was said by a minister, quote him. That’s good news,” Mr Mugunga said.
Mr Bahati also said Mr Museveni has also promised to table the Bill on qualifications of religious leaders before Cabinet for discussion and later consult the clergy.
In his speech read on his behalf, the president commended Anglican Kigezi Diocese Bishop George Bagamuhunda and his Catholic counterpart of Kabale Diocese, Rt Rev Callist Rubaramira, for championing unity among Christians in Kigezi region.
“We thank Bishop Bagamuhunda for being transparent while handling church affairs, besides being developmental and we urge all Christians and church leaders to be faithful and trustworthy,” he said.