Despite being behind the original completion schedule, Nakivubo Stadium construction has now picked momentum with proprietor Hamis Kiggundu promising to unveil an ultra-modern stadium within 18 months.

On Monday, Kiggundu in the company of the project Aine Ashaba took journalists on a guided tour of the current works and vowed that the work will this time be completed by mid-2022.

“Many people have since construction began doubted whether there will be a stadium on this land, but as you can see the work on the stadium is in progress,” Kiggundu said.

“I’m not just putting up this structure but I want to leave a legacy and also show other Ugandans that we can also develop the country ourselves; since I have been able to do this, it means even others can do likewise and it is the reason we are working day and night to ensure the work is completed,”

Kiggundu said the 35,000-seater stadium is going to be the best in East Africa on completion.

“It’s going to house facilities for indoor games, boardrooms, hotels that can be used for home and visiting teams. We are constructing a first-class facility, even those saying that it will not conform to FIFA standards are just speculating,” Kiggundu stated.

“I’m a businessman, I cannot invest sh180b in a substandard facility; I must have justification for my expenses. So within a year or a year and a half, this stadium will be in use,” he added.

He said many factors including rain and the Coronavirus pandemic among others had caused the construction delay but there are going to be no further stoppages until the all-seater stadium that will have an artificial turf is complete.

The stadium will have a covered canopy roof that will ensure fans are protected from rain and sunshine according to Kiggundu.

He castigated those trying to water-down the investment on social media and urged them to instead support the ongoing works because Uganda still needs more stadia, because even the national stadium – Namboole is in a sorry state.

Project manager Aine Ashaba said they had completed only 33 percent of the work and that currently, they are putting up columns on which the different stands will be built before construction of poles on which the roof will rest.

“Currently we are applying concrete on slabs but we want to assure the public that we are constructing a stadium that matches FIFA standards. It is 105m long and 68m wide.

He said the developer had asked them to speed up work on the foundation on which the artificial turf will seat and it will be ready by December while the other work is expected to be completed in the next 8 months.

He said one of the new additions is; fans will be able to buy their tickets electronically from wherever they will be and only present code at the entrance in order to avoid congestion as a way to fight the rampant coronavirus.

On completion, the 35,000 sitter stadium will encompass boardrooms and conference facilities, changing rooms, rooms for indoor games, an athletics track, a gym, a netball, basketball court a hotel, and multi-level parking for up to 9,600 cars.

Construction work on the shopping malls around the stadium started in March 2017 and after 8 months many began to be used by the traders that used to operate in the Park Yard market.

Currently, the whole area is buzzing with different businesses in different shops.

Three years ago Nakivubo Stadium was razed down to pave way for a modern facility with a much higher capacity, which was supposed to have been completed this year.

But work stalled because of different reasons, with the developer prioritising the shopping facilities around the stadium; which are all operational at the moment.

But following visits by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni, the current Minister of State for Sports Hamson Obua, and more recently by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, work on the stadium facility has resumed in earnest.