Emotions swung to sharply contrasting extremes after news that Uganda’s allowances for the Commonwealth Games had been increased.
First, was the toasting to President Yoweri Museveni’s offer of raising the daily pay from $72 to $100.
Then, there was gloom after it became clear, stringent cash laws may not allow the money (over $110,000) to be paid in Glasgow.
This, in effect means payment of the allowances will not only be after the Games, but also back home, revealed State House official Norah Nassimbwa.
Chief de Mission, Ambrose Tashobya was non-committal on the payments preferring the issue to be addressed by Nassimbwa.
Nassimbwa was due in Glasgow yesterday. She is expected in the Games village today.
The team is meanwhile yet to get to grips with the news.
“This is unbelievable. I just can’t imagine being away from home for a month without money,” exclaimed team captain, Charles Sekyaaya.
The first group of Uganda’s contingent to Glasgow arrived here last week after receiving allowances for three of the 14 days that they will be paid for at the Games.
Most of that money was however left in Uganda for home upkeep following a promise that the balance would be cleared in Scotland.
The remaining group comprising largely of long distance runners, which jets in on Thursday, is much better off having signed for all the cash before departure.
Receiving money after the games wouldn’t be an issue. After all, teams here are catered for full board.
But the idea of staying with teams that have huge sums of money to splash around can be demoralizing.
Sekyaaya says such trips are also an opportunity to buy products at much cheaper prices.
“For instance, I had banked on my allowances to boost my gym in Kasubi with new dumb bells that are at much friendlier prices here.”
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Commonwealth Games: Team Uganda miserable after allowance setback