What if President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was not a politician? Would he probably have been a comedian?
A few lines from his speeches are comical and captivating, and somehow make one imagine that with Museveni in the same ring, probably the likes of Mariach, Pablo, Mendo, Salvador among other comedians would be struggling to catch up with the man from Rwakitura.
Even his avid enemies will struggle to maintain a tough face when he starts to crack jokes as was the case on Tuesday, April 14, when he announced the extension of the current lockdown by 21 days to protect the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID -19).
Whereas he was talking about tough measures that touch the raw nerves; people’s survival; he managed to deliver his speech with wit, occasionally cracking not only the ribs of the few ministers and senior government officials in attendance but also probably millions watching and listening to him from their homes across the country.
We captured some of the moments:
“These Ugandans; money can kill them, this one I have confirmed. You can imagine we are talking about death and a person, ooh! whatever they look at is money,” said Museveni in regard to the decision to ban private cars from moving.
Initially, they had been allowed to move with three people after the ban on public transport. However, many turned their cars into public vehicles and started carrying passengers charging them exorbitantly.
“Apart from the unchristian behaviour, but omululu bannange ogw’essente, it was undermining our work of not mixing up, that’s why we said no to even the private cars,”
On the banning of nonfood shops.
“How can a shop be a store? Me from Ntungamo, I know it’s edduuka. They say when they are back home to America, they call them stores, nze nakulira kudduuka bannange bw’ogamba store, for me, a store is for emmwanyi n’olwekyo, muleke okututawanya with multiple definitions, let’s have one definition.”
On hair saloons, Museveni first wondered how it’s spelt whether with a single or double letter O. Finally, he called it “the garage of the hair.” Then he said; “One day, I found my daughter being cooked, because she had put her head in something that was boiling, I said, “these people have cooked my daughter.” I was about to fight. Eeh ebyo byammwe nze ndi kukawuka ebyo kambireke.”
Then on why he banned Boda Bodas from moving beyond 2 pm, Museveni said he received reports that they were being used to commit crime.
“People were beginning to use them to attack [others]. There is really Satan in Africa! We should send him away. You stop them from doing this trouble, they start another trouble. It’s really amusing why Ugandans don’t want to settle down.”
On the category of people who were tested because they came in contact with people who tested positive of the virus.
“When I had of “contacts”, I thought that they were our ground contacts kumbe they meant the people who had interacted with the returnees who tested positive. Sometimes I just use words so that I don’t look out of place.”