In the spirit of adhering to the anti-Covid SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) that he has been instituting and advocating, President Yoweri Museveni will next week deliver this year’s annual State of the Nation address in an open field.

This will make possible the observation of the two metres space between persons as required by the social distancing SOP, now officially called ‘Tonsemberera’ by the Ministry of Health.

The following week, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija will read the national budget for Financial Year 2020-21 in the same field. The minster must present the budget two weeks before the end of the financial year, which ends on June 30th.

Holding the two major functions at Kololo will also save the government hundreds of millions of shillings that would otherwise be spent if it were to be held in a hotel venue. Parliament’s plenary chamber cannot hold the number of all dignitaries who attend the event, especially now when it cannot even hold a quarter of its members if social distancing is observed.

 Even if the venues were to be provided free by a hotel, this would go against the spirit of austerity that the president has been promoting to the extent of measuring how much posho a person should eat, and he would be seen to be “preaching water while drinking wine”.

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