By Gad Masereka
Kampala: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is expected on Sunday 14 July lead a 10km marathon of his entire cabinet. These will run from Kololo Ceremonial Grounds to Jinja Road and back to Kololo via Lugogo by-pass.
According to Health Minister Ruth Aceng, the event is aimed at marking the inaugural national physical activity day that will be marked in Uganda annually.
The Sunday marathon comes on the heels of reports that recently during the budget reading by Minister Matia Kasaija, an elderly frail Minister urinated in the chair because of frail health arising from physical inactivity and gratefully the media never reported the incidence.
They perhaps never got wind of it and it remains a top secret among few of the cabinet ministers who witnessed their elderly colleague (from Northern Uganda) doing this. It was realized during departure time and the elderly Minister nervously confessed to colleagues saying (Abiriga-style) “I was badly off.”
Aceng said, this is part of the government strategy to check on the rampant spread of non-communicable diseases largely due to increased inactivity by holders of public office in Uganda.
Besides the mini-marathon, there will also be other sporting activities in where ministers are expected to participate including volleyball, football, netball and basketball.
Aceng said the involvement of the President and the entire cabinet is meant to raise the profile of the subsequent national physical activity days in the coming years.
Adults aged 50-69 are the most inactive and this is the bracket in which majority Ministers fall. Urbanization is another cause explaining decline in physical activity because people tend to travel using cars and other transport methods as opposed to the village ways of walking on foot and in the process exercise their muscles.
The national physical activity day was recently designated by Government and will be held annually on every 2nd Sunday of July. But as they await that day, the more athletic Ministers are holding their breath praying hard that their more elderly colleagues don’t commit the goof of the century by coming dressed in their characteristic oversize (aka Supreme Court) suits as if coming for a cabinet meeting or a parliamentary session.