Gamblers get desperate after losing money, they indulge in unprotected sex which exposes them to the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS
A section of youths in Kabalagala, Makindye East a city suburb have asked the government to impose a ban on sports betting which they say has drained them financially.
“What measures are you planning for the increase in gambling spots in the city which are silently destroying the lives of the youths?” Gilbert Tayeebwa, a resident of Kabalagala asked parliamentary hopeful Dr. Ian Clarke.
Voters in Makindye East constituency also put conditions on priorities they want Clarke to implement.
The conditions range from social amenities like the construction of health centers, and equipping the facilities with drugs and health workers, provision of employment opportunities for the youths and clean water, de-silting water channels, revamping feeder roads and garbage collection.
Statistics from the National Youth Council indicates that 26% of Uganda’s 34.9 million population is between 18 and 35 years of age and 54% is below the age of 18.
This is the section of the population keenest on sports – both local and international.
Joanita Muyanya , a food vendor in Kansaga market along Gaba road said the vice had escalated the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“Gamblers get desperate after losing money, they indulge in unprotected sex which exposes them to the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS,” she stated.
John Gambale, who works in Gaba revealed that programmes in the slot machines are susceptible to manipulation, with the potential to give wrong results and exploit the public.”
Clarke, the current Makindye division mayor while campaigning in the suburbs of Gaba, Kansanga, Kabalagala, and Kibuli, said several complaints of the vice had already reached his desk.
“I reported the matter to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Boss Jennifer Musisi, who said, her authority cannot ban slot machines in the city, referring the matter to the finance ministry which levies revenue from the gambling companies,” he said.
Clarke contesting on the independent ticket said: “When you vote me into the 10th Parliament I will raise a private members bill, to ban sports betting.”
In January the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, decried the proliferation of unregulated betting companies in Uganda.
Kadaga made the comments as she met aggrieved workers from betting companies in Kamuli.
“The government is in the final stages of stopping all betting companies from operating business in Uganda on the grounds that they are cheating locals and evading taxes,” She said.
Clerk is in the race with John Simbwa NRM (Incumbent), former MP Mike Mabikke, Thomas Bukenya (independent) and Elijah Owobusingye.