3 Dec 2020

 

Appointments & Disappointments

"But the diehard tribalists among them have retreated to their tribal base to mobilise their elders to convince the Big Man to make their son a minister, if not a governor, and if not even a mayor will do".

By Victor Lugala

Time is ticking away. It is rush hour! The hearts of politicians are beating like mad. They are nervous. They are sweating. Every politician - veteran or young - are all suffering from a weekend fever called TGONU. The ordinary people in the street are enjoying the comedy.

You are either in or out of the game. Being out is the worst headache which comes with other diseases and other undesirables. High blood pressure. Instant diarrhoea. Loss of appetite. Even low libido at this time. Oh, my! Oh, my!

Already there is the looming fear of some people being thrown out of luxury hotels. Girlfriends and part-timers are running away in disarray.

V8 vehicles will be commandeered at midnight, and losers will join the rest of us sunbathers in the daily toil of jerejere because they will have been stripped of that coveted title of zol kebir, Matat, Beny.

Suits, my dear suits. Those who have bags of money under their beds are buying new suits to be worn on the day they will be sworn into office. Crumpled and dusty suits are being rushed downtown for dry-cleaning.

Women politicians are shopping for high-end handbags and high-heeled shoes, which will elevate them to ministerial or gubernatorial positions.

This weekend, they will go to the best salons in town to groom their hair, scrub their faces, and do pedicure and manicure. The nails of the right hand will be polished and painted with attractive colours because that is the hand which lifts the Bible on the day of swearing in.

The male politicians are busy practicing in front of big mirrors, opening and closing their jaws while mumbling things like, 'Oh God, help me.' Some of the politicians with grumpy faces are also practicing PR smiles in front of mirrors.

The palms of newspaper owners are itching, for they are preparing to allocate more column space for congratulatory messages drafted in bush school English.

That TV announcer who specializes in reading presidential decrees is shopping for the best lipstick and kitenge headgear. She is also oiling her throat with honey tea to make it smooth, so that on Saturday she can read the names of the lucky ones with authority.

This is the time politicians are being highly spiritual, performing rites with a purpose. Some politicians are calling their bishops to offer them special prayers, which will bring ministerial positions.

Others are making peace with people they had wronged. Fly whisks are waved in the air and libations poured on mother earth. Amen! Amen!

This is the time desperate politicians are vulnerable and are easy targets for con men.

If a street crook posed by the roadside with a chain of cowrie shells and draped in a monkey skin, a politician in a sleek V8 monster vehicle will stop for him. The politician will even take him to a hidden corner where he could safely ask for a good luck medicine which will smuggle his name into the final list of ministers.

Politicians have been having sleepless nights, especially the male politicians who are behaving as if they were wooing Miss World.

Some of them want to have a word with the Big Man or his new number 2. Others are using emissaries with the promise of cash rewards and other goodies.

But the diehard tribalists among them have retreated to their tribal base to mobilise their elders to convince the Big Man to make their son a minister, if not a governor, and if not even a mayor will do. What is important for the tribe is for their son to get a position where the whole tribe can continue to eat.

Today Juba is like a busy betting shop. By 9 pm Juba local time on Saturday the city will know the winners and losers. The winners will be pouring champagne on their heads, and the losers will be peeping nervously from dingy health clinics to bring down their BP.

Meanwhile the ordinary person in the street will be going about their daily business eating boiled sweet potatoes and peanut butter.
 

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