By John Odyek
As the finance minister Matia Kasaija went about his speech, he cleared his throat, coughed and bellowed into the microphone. The MPs reminded him: “You need water,” a section of MPs retorted.
Interestingly, the remarks were made at a time Kasaija talked about irrigation, dams, the river Nile and the sanitation budgets.
The Kampala Sun understands that Kasaija addressed an indifferent crowd as most of the MPs and other invited dignitaries were sulking at being offered strictly one bottle of mineral water per head at the budget reading, owing to budget constraints. Some MPs who reluctantly rejected the offer of free water as they took their seats later rued the decision.
It is revealed that the MPs and other delegates who are used to excesses ordered the Kampala Serena waiters for more, but were politely told to pay sh5,000 before the water could be delivered. “May I get another bottle of water”. “No, you are entitled to one bottle of water,” the Five Star Hotel waitress quickly responded. Cue the curses. Although some reached for their pockets, getting it delivered was another hustle.
When President Yoweri Museveni begun to speak, he cracked a few jokes and you heard the dry voices of laughter, all demanding water, water… nowhere.
“How can we be made to buy water when we have a President and the Finance minister in our midst? Something is not right,” an MP complained.
They were however told to wait for the post budget cocktail to fully indulge and many took revenge on alcoholic beverages and not water.
HOW TO SURVIVE THOSE LONG BUDGET SPEECHES
• Have a few sweets in your pocket
• Take a quick nap before the President arrives
• Be savvy-carry water in a water bottle in your bag
• Dress so that your clothing can restrain evaporation from your sweat and the consequent loss of moisture.
• Sit close to a fan or air-conditioner supply area.
• Use some moisturiser, lotion to keep you cool
• If you have lip-gloss, use it.
• Manage your expenditure of energy and breathe through your nose Minimize late food intake because the digestive process consumes water, it can make you dose off in front of cameras.
• Watch the time you drink alcoholic beverages because they accelerate dehydration.
• Drink plenty of water before the function. Know where the restroom is and visit it.
• Do not underestimate the heat at the centre. With water, the rule is, “more is better.” With four hours of sitting required, have your water plan handy.