Joshua Cheptegei’s father blocked as Uganda’s Commonwealth team returns

© Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE
Stephenson Kwalya Munerya, father to Joshua Cheptegei

Millions are happy about the achievements of team Uganda at the recently concluded 2018 Common Wealth games hosted by Australia. To  Stephenson Kwalya Munerya, the father of long distance runner, Joshua Cheptegei, there is excitement  but embedded with disappointment.

Munerya was among the hundreds of people from the Sebei community and a section of media personnel blocked from accessing the arrival of the team from Australia as they returned on Thursday afternoon.

Speaking with delight and bitterness, he echoed;

I am so happy for my son. This is a moment for us all to celebrate. It is victory for all the people of Uganda. Thank you my son. But I remain unhappy that we were blocked from welcoming our sons and daughters. Initially, we were at the Airport then told to go at the VVIP Airport. We had to foot from the new airport to the old airport. Why all this suffering. You can not travel all the way from Kapchorwa and we are treated in this bad way. Government should come up and clean this mess.

Joshua Cheptegei completed a double at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium track with two gold medals in the 5000M and 10,000M races.

AFP
Uganda’s Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei celebrates after winning the athletic’s men’s 5000m final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 8, 2018

He crashed the games record to claim the 10000m Gold in 27:19.62 and better Wilberforce Talel’s record set in Manchester in 2002 by 27.77 seconds.

Uganda’s medal tally is up to five, with three Gold. Boxer Juma Miiro (Bronze), Stella Chesang (Gold) and Mercyline Chelangat (bronze) are the other medal winners.

There was a heroes’ welcome for the team received by the First Lady, Janet Kataha Museveni, who is also the Minister of Education and Sports.

National Council of Sports officials Zubair Ggaliwango, Bosco Onyik, Andrew Sorowen, Kapchorwa Resident District Commissioner Jane Francis Kuka, Special Superintendent of Police (SSP) Andrew Sorowen are some of the high profile  personalities who welcomed the team at Entebbe International Airport on Thursday.

A welcome dinner was also organized for the team at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Thursday evening.

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