TA N Z A N I A ’ S Emmanuel Giniki won gold medal in the cross country race at the ongoing 11th edition of the East African Community (EAC) Military Games and Cultural Events in Bujumbura, Burundi. Giniki, who is among the country’s top runners yesterday emerged the winner of the 10 km cross country race in men’s discipline.
The victory saw Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) emerging the overall winner in men’s athletics. TPDF was followed by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) respectively, while host Burundi flopped.
According to lieutenant Hope Dagaa, in women discipline cross country race, TPDF’s Jacqueline Sakiru won bronze medal after finishing third in the race. In the discipline, Tanzania emerged second overall winner behind Kenya and Uganda clinched the third slot.
The regional military games commenced on August 26 involving various games - football, netball, basketball, athletic and volleyball - are schedule to wind up on September 5th, this year. The EAC Military Games and Culture events started on August 26th, this year.
The games are taking place at the Rwegasore Stadium in the heart of Bujumbura. More than 500 sportsmen and women from the East African member states are competing in the games.
And many sports lovers said it is a great moment for Burundi to host the event, because sports is among unifying factors. The East African Community (EAC) Games and Cultural Events are conducted annually on rotational basis in accordance with Article II of the MoU on Cooperation in Defence in the EAC and in line with the decisions of the Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence. This MoU was signed in 1998 and revised in 2001.
The event involves EAC member states, however, in this year’s edition, Rwanda and South Sudan failed to participate. These activities include, among others; Joint Operations, technical assistance, visits and exchange of information, cultural exchanges and sports competitions to enhance a spirit of comradeship between the armed forces.
The first EAC Military Games and Cultural Event was held in Uganda in 2005, the second was in Kenya in 2006, the third in Tanzania in 2007, Uganda hosted the fourth edition in 2008.
The fifth was hosted in 2009 in Rwanda, Burundi hosted the sixth edition in 2011 and the 7th edition was in 2013 in Kenya while Zanzibar staged the 8th edition in 2014.
The 9th East African Community (EAC) Military Games was held in Uganda on 2015 and scheduled for August 16-27 in Kampala, Mukono and Jinja. The 10th was held in Rwanda on 2016. This year, Burundi is hosting the games.