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How Museveni kept guests awake during address

By Mary Karugaba

Added 7th June 2018 11:37 AM

Despite the seriousness involved, the President’s speech was littered with humour and rib cracking local proverbs that left many people in the audience with teary eyes.

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Despite the seriousness involved, the President’s speech was littered with humour and rib cracking local proverbs that left many people in the audience with teary eyes.

First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, President Yoweri Museveni and the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga walk to the Kampala Serena Hotel gardens for a reception shortly after the State of the Nation Address on Wednesday 6th June 2018. PPU PHOTO

Most of the government officials in the past have been caught on Cameras either dossing or chewing gum.

But now President Yoweri Museveni has learnt the art of keeping them awake especially during his long speeches. The state of the nation was not different.

Despite the seriousness involved, the President’s speech was littered with humour and rib cracking local proverbs that left many people in the audience with teary eyes.

After stepping on the podium, the President’s voice did not sound as usual due to flue. He immediately sent for tissue. Realizing that there was silence in the room as he cleaned the nose, he tried to break it and said, “I had a cold but I defeated it.”  Some members of the opposition shouted, “How? When you are still sneezing.” The president said he did not understand what they were saying.

The President informed the audience that because of electricity, he has discovered that some people have built factories in swamps.

“I see them. It’s better to have factories in the swamps than mayuni (yams). It should not have happened but God is there,” he said.

During the ceremony, he wondered why people drive so fast and end up causing accidents. The President caused murmurs in the room when he defended his convoy on speed.

“Why over drive? Where are you going?   People wonder why I don’t allow my vehicles to move very fast,” he said as murmurs filled the room. “If you see them over speeding, know am not there because I regard myself useful,” he said as murmurs increased.

To as if rest their doubts, he said, “Ok may be when I am late for the head of state that is arriving at Entebbe Airport.”

He complained that some Africans reach a point and get tired of life.

“Africans behave as if their tired of life. Everything that comes kills them. Alcohol kills them, women kills them. Everything good kills them. Africans die from good and bad,” he said sending the audience into prolonged laughter.

He was also angry that some leaders seek popularity and fail to sensitize their voters on income generating activities.

“You sit with them, share straws at Malwa joints that you are a people’s person. You say mubewo (long live). God one day will ask you why your neighbours were poor when you were okay. Better listen to my message because I need my slot in heaven,” he said.

He applauded the people in Kiruhura district who have taken his message seriously and got involved in income generating activities.

“Because of the transformation, they are no grass thatched houses or Tadoba (hurricane lamps) unless you go to the museum,” he said as the audience laughed.

Speaking in the local language, the President said, in some areas, he meets people and greets them. “ Mulimuta (how are you) they say turyaho (we are there). I ask them what are you doing? They say Turyaho (we are there). I ask them where do you get money? They say, do we see it? So what do they do?” the President asked as he threw his aims in the air.

The President said they then go and spend time in church expecting miracle wealth. “Some priests then come and smear them with oil. Really? Some Africans.” He said as cameras zoomed on Pastor Joseph Sserwadda in the audience.

He informed the audience that some people were trying to rash the financing and building of the Standard Gauge Railways project yet he wants to first scrutinize the several offers.

“With such projects am very careful. I have got many offers. Some people are not happy with me because am delaying them. They want me dead but God is there, Lubangake,” he said.

On government’s investment in Sports, the President admitted but said the support has mainly been indirectly.

“Some people say we have not invested in Sports but these people like Joshua Cheptegei who recently won a gold medal, where would they be if cattle rustling were still there?” he asked.

Elaborating government’s challenges with some of the donors, the President cited the recent clash with World Bank for the Kamwenge- Fort portal road. The World Bank cut off funding after an investigation report revealed that the Chinese contractors had impregnated some underage girls.

“The Chinese impregnated the girls. World Bank said we are cutting off the funding. Really? You punish 3m people because of these Chinese people?  We decided to fund the road using government money and completed it,” he said.

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