VENUE FOR MUSEVENI’S STATE OF NATION ADDRESS CHANGED OVER COVID FEARS
By Mulengera Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni will deliver this year’s State of the Nation Address at the Kololo Independence Grounds instead of the Kampala Serena Conference Center where the event has been held in recent years because of space constraints.
In a statement issued Friday, May 29, Parliament has confirmed the change of venue but emphasized that the date had not been altered.
“HE President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will deliver the State of the Nation Address to Parliament on Thursday, 04 June 2020. Due to the Covid19 situation and for observance of the social distancing measures, the function will be held at the Kololo Independence Grounds,” read part of a statement from Parliament.
“Article 95(2) of the Constitution states that, ‘a session of Parliament shall be held at such a place within Uganda and shall commence at such a time as the Speaker may, by proclamation, appoint.”
About two weeks ago, Kadaga announced the dates for both the State of the Nation Address and the budget reading. The latter will happen on June 11, seven days after the former.
Touted as an accountability tool, the State of the Nation Address is in line with Article 101 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, which states that “The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament, deliver to Parliament an address on the state of the nation.”
The address will happen at a time when Museveni has eased the Covid19 lockdown that has so far gone on for two months, battering the economy and making experts revise growth figures downwards.
In his remarks at an event to mark the pre-budget week on Wednesday, Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi said Uganda “will be lucky to get above 0 per cent growth for the calendar year,” adding that even “the treasury itself is in emergency.”
Apart from the grim picture of the economy, the increasing number of Uganda’s Covid19 cases is raising more fears of a healthcare crisis if social distancing and hygiene measures are not followed, especially with more people expected to leave their homes next week as easing of the lockdown paves way for reopening of public transport, education institutions and businesses.
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