Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has ordered his government not to issue or renew licences for sports betting firms, the country's Finance minister David Bahati has revealed.
Mr Bahati said President Museveni issued the directive because of the negative impact the betting craze has had on young people.
“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.
Mr Bahati said church leaders who have been against sports betting can now rejoice because "their prayers have been answered."
The Ministry of Finance's 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 for him by Mr Bahati, 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,” Mr Bahati said.