The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces Engineers Brigade which is tasked with the renovation works of Mandela National Stadium, Namboole is upbeat towards completing and delivering the project on time and at the availed cost.
According to Lt Col Eng Peter Seku Kidemuka, the project engineer, the phased renovation works that started in February 2022 currently stand at 72% and are to be completed by 30th November 2023 and working tirelessly to see that the project is delivered. He said that works were undertaken in three phases.
He revealed that Mandela National Stadium, Namboole will be a smart stadium where fans will be able to book tickets and seats through online platforms at their comfort. He added that upon completion the stadium will be able to host both football and rugby matches of international standards.
Lt Col Kidemuka said that phase one was securing the 128 acres of land which involved the eviction of encroachers on the land and fully fencing it. Phase two involved the upgrade and renovation of the stadium to meet international standards and this involved mechanical, electrical and civil works in and around the stadium.
He added that the current phase they are on involves planting grass in the main playfield and training section, fitting the public address systems fitting chairs, electrical and plumbing equipment and all other stadium facilities and ongoing works on a 62-room hotel.
The project engineer said that the progress has seen improvement to international standards of the locker rooms for both home and away teams, doctor’s room, anti-doping/doping control room, press conference room and post-match interview room, facilities for spectators with disabilities, fitting seats for spectators, VIPs and VVIPs to meet international standards and 70 turnstiles which are expected to handle 300 people per minute and a gym facility that will be fitted with modern equipment and open to the public.
However, he said that despite the ongoing works, they have faced challenges such as part of the land that is still occupied and the parking space that is occupied by the defunct pioneer buses. He highlighted that these have delayed the progress of their work like the installation of security lights, landscaping and improving the parking space for the stadium.
Lt Col Peter Seku Kidemuka thanked the Commander-in-Chief, leadership of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Ministry of Education and Sports and Ministry of Works and Transport for their efforts towards ensuring that the Mandela National Stadium project is successful and as a team, they will ensure that they deliver as expected.
He equally thanked the media fraternity for keeping the nation informed and updated on the ongoing works so that they are not misinformed about the project.
The first international match to be hosted at the stadium upon completion is expected to be in March 2024.
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