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Ugandan President Museveni Entertains With An Instructive Workout Video

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has made it a habit these days to get on television every evening, guiding his country through the coronavirus pandemic.

Last night, the 75-year-old held a marathon session. He chastised his security forces for using excessive force to enforce the lockdown. People should be encouraged to go back to their homes and if they refuse, arrest them, he counseled, as one of his security chiefs looked on.

"You don't beat," he said. "Even cows, we don't beat them these days."

But the thing that has caught the Internet's attention is that Museveni admonished Ugandans for exercising outside. Working out is something you can do indoors, he said. And he promised to release a video tutorial.

Ugandans took to Twitter to express their delight. Grace Natabaalo tweeted that she hoped the exercise video would be old-school and involve a fishnet top.

Museveni isn't very popular anymore in Uganda. He's been in power for 34 years and often uses brute force to put down popular rebellions. But Ugandans are still entertained by their leader and they tend to see him with mix of affection and resentment.

As promised, Museveni delivered his workout video this evening.

Wearing a gray sweatsuit, he jogged a bit and then his staff counted 30 pushups. The video only really shows 26 and some bad form, but who are we to nitpick?

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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