Monday, March 17, 2014

I Too Can Do It

A few weeks ago, I attended a function in Kabalagala that was presided over by the IGP, Kale Kayihura. He was launching the Community Policing Project and the top brass at police headquarters deemed that it should be officiated by the highest ranking policeman in the land. It made sense – I mean the community would have not been too pleased had it been presided over by Affande Omara who is well known for doing away with anybody he sees being a nuisance.

At the function Kayihura got more than he bargained for. Instead of enjoying the event, sitting comfortably in the red velvet cloth lined chair, having a cold Coke under the VIP tent while the sun flogged down on the masses that attended, he had to deal with problems.

It started when a, I Can Barely Walk old woman snailed her skeletal frame across the football field from the kayola stand where she sat to Kayihura’s VIP tent. Kayihura saw her coming and tried to engross himself in paper work and imaginary notes but, I Can Barely Walk old woman stood her ground. Kayihura conceded defeat, put down his imaginary notes and tended to her needs. Patiently he listened to her before referring her to a community liaison policewoman. And that was the beginning of his problems. Suddenly everybody with an issue was running across the field to pour their hearts out to him.

This brings us to President M7. As president and commander-in-chief, he has important work to do like signing bills, the economy to think about and the elections round the corner.

In all this, he also wants to have the monopoly of mundane tasks like opening shopping malls, schools, hospitals, people’s private homes, farms, petrol stations and attending weddings.

And this is where I come in. I have never been asked to be a chief guest at a function or commission a building. Perhaps people do not know where to send the invitations to. Or maybe it has something to do with me being a mere C-list celebrity and because of that I won’t make the front pages of the papers?

Regardless, I don’t think M7 should bother himself with those trivial tasks when I am around and so are a whole host of unknown people that I know like Nodin, Julius, Lukwago and Doc, who I hang out with.

While we are not important people, we are competent enough to stand in for M7.  We know how to accept the bouquet of flowers from Flower Girl in the pretty frock and then pat her on the head as M7 does. We also know how a pair of scissors works and how it’s used to cut through the tape. And though we are not rocket scientists, we also know how to pull that string that opens the small curtain to reveal a plaque. And we would happily accept any gifts that may be given to us.

If Kayihura had humbled himself and asked me to stand in for him at the Kabalagala function, I would have done so and he would not have had to bother himself listening to the mundane problems of, I Can Barely Walk old woman or the mob that besieged him.

For M7, rather than sizzle in Karamoja’s heat and being buzzed by flies while waiting to open up a borehole, he could chill out in the air-con confines of State House well assured that his man – TB is on the ground doing the needful. Finally, seeing that Greenhill School has recently built a pedestrian walkover, there is no need to bother M7 to open it for he has opened so many of them. I am available.  

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