Wednesday, March 4, 2009



March 4, 2009

By Nancy Mburu

I love drama. Sometimes, I imagine a comedy set in a log cabin deep in the Mau forest, starring Emilio and Tinga. The two enjoy a game of cards and often break out in laughter as they compare their mastery of the age-old game. Occasionally, they take a swig of beer from their bottles and share a cigar.

"Tinga, we have come far and we are slowly getting there," says a pleased Emilio.

"I couldn’t agree more, Emilio. You and I are the bomb," answers Tinga and the two burst into prolonged laughter.

After getting tired of cards, the two engage in arm-wrestling, describing it as "challenging" and then gaze in the mirror to admire their imaginary ‘six-packs’.

Tinga scratches his belly idly and lets out a loud yawn, before strolling across the room to look out the tiny window. Taking the cue Emilio, moving at a snail’s pace, flings the door open and gazes at the sky, wondering if it will rain. He stifles a yawn and hobbles back inside.

He takes a deep drag at his cigar and watches the thick smoke curl lazily up to the ceiling.

"We have done a great job as the principals of this country and deserve this time off," he says after some thought. "Who says we are laissez-faire managers? And if we are, so what? Who says popularity comes in an ugali bowl? That’s why I enjoy our quality time in the woods, to run away from all this whining. God! It surely makes the ears ring! Why don’t Kenyans see the good in us? All we are trying to do is please everybody, with our political cronies at the top of the food chain.

"Think about it, Tinga: if ODM — much as some of your buddies make me want to throw up — had not stood behind you, would you measure up to your equals? It’s true we have some bad seeds among us, but all these challenges have taught us to be men. Otherwise I would not have a scrap of respect for you.

"And what was all that nonsensical opinion poll about?"

Healthy Competition

Tinga shoos a fly off his coat with a look of horror and admires his fingernails blowing on them to see if they need a fresh manicure. There is a comfortable silence between them for a while before he replies: "You know Emilio, you are so right! Think of what your life would be without your Muthaiga buddies. Those guys have made you who you are today. You cannot afford to let them down. As for the fighting among our party members and Cabinet ministers, it is healthy and intellectual. Do you know something else, Emilio? I am learning from the best — you. There is no better feeling than sitting on the fence.

"Hell, we cannot solve all the world’s problems, so you got to let things work out on their own. That way, we keep our blood sugar level in control."

The two then snicker about the clergy getting their noses in political affairs. They burst into a round of evil laughter as they say concur that somebody needs to defrock those fellows.

It is getting late and bonding time for the two is over for that weekend. They need to get back to the drudgery of facing the ever whining Kenyans.

"Goodness! Somebody should tell these Kenyans to grow up," Tinga mutters under his breath. "It is time we weaned them off freebies!"

So they arrive at an action plan. Top on the agenda is to hear no whining and see no whining.

For instance, regarding the damning verdict on their performance by Kenyans, the two agree to dismiss it as rumours generated by their detractors. They resolve to counter this with their own success version of the coalition government, even if their respective cronies go at each others’ throats like crazy.

On the hunger ravaging the country, the movie stars agree to continue begging for food until their mouths run dry. After all, they agree, Kenyans should learn to work harder so as to feed their households.

On fighting corruption in high places, the two agree that it is too much work and they do not want to hurt their friends. After all, Kenyans lived with the vice throughout most of the previous regime. Why should they expect things to be different now?

Gems for leaders

On setting up a tribunal to deal with the plotters and executors of last year’s post-election violence, the two agree that it never hurt to wait a little longer and see just which way the political wind blows. After all, Kenyans have long been denied justice, basic rights and freedoms, and they seem okay with it.

These among many other resolutions form the agenda of the bonding session. It is almost dark now and the two walk to their cars holding shoulders. As they part, they concur that Kenyans have never been luckier to have such gems for leaders.

The writer is a commentator on social issues.