Thursday, May 27, 2010

Election Petition

Election Petition

The old decrepit judge shuffled into the courtroom, assisted by two
clerks of the court. His black gown was in tatters and yellow
horsehair hung around his creased and wizened face. As the bowed
figure stood before us, we also stood and bowed, and then sat down.

But the judge remained standing in a bowed position. 'What's wrong
with him?' I hissed to Sara. 'He seems to be stuck.'

'That's Justice Nchekeleko,' said Sara, 'he's permanently bent.'
As we were whispering the two clerks of the court gently lifted the
bent judge into his high chair, which perfectly accommodated his bent

'Has he always been bent like that?' I wondered.
'Oh no,' said Sara. 'As a young man he was straight and upright, but
as he got older he became more and more bent.'

The judge was now shuffling some papers with his grotesquely crooked fingers.
'Today,' croaked Justice Nchekeleko, 'has been set aside for delivery
of the judgement in the by-election petition lodged on 25 July
2010 by the late Mr Mulombe Musungulushi…

'2010?' I hissed in Sara's ear. 'That's more than twenty years ago!'
'Justice is a slow business,' Sara whispered. 'In court, people are
not allowed to speak faster than the speed at which the judge can

'With his arthritis,' I whispered, 'I doubt if he could write ten
words in an hour.'

'… the petitioner based his petition on four grounds,' the judge was
now saying. 'Firstly that violence disturbed the election and
prevented some people from voting. Secondly that the opposition party
used underhand tactics. Thirdly that the opposition stole their
election materials. Fourthly that the media were biased against Mr
Musungulushi's party, the Movement for Murdering Democracy.'

'Was that by-election really twenty years ago?' I wondered.
'Oh yes,' she said. 'That was before statutory regulation abolished
TV, and we started attending court cases for our entertainment. You're
getting old my dear, you used to have such a good memory.'

'On the first ground,' said the judge, 'I find as a fact that the
opposition party openly and brazenly used violence in preventing MMD
thugs from cutting off the fingers of opposition voters. Since the
opposition won this by-election by only a hundred votes, this
constitutes clear evidence that MMD would have won if only a few more
fingers had been cut off.

On other hand, it has also to be recorded that the opposition
complained to this court that the police never arrested any MMD thugs.
However, this issue is now moot, having been superseded by the
provisions of the National Unity Constitution of 2025, at Article 102,
which identifies all opposition parties as enemies of the state.

'On the second ground, of underhand tactics, the petitioner has
explained that the MMD gave every voter a bag of sugar on the clear
contractual understanding that they should vote for Mr. Musungulushi.
I find it proven beyond reasonable doubt that opposition leaders urged
voters to ignore these contractual obligations, in clear contravention
of the Law of Contract. However, I will stop short of recommending
legal action to seek damages from the opposition party, since their
leaders are all in indefinite detention on unspecified charges.

'On the third count, of stealing election materials, I find it proven
that opposition cadres invaded the MMD camp and stole a considerable
amount of valuable election material, namely several hundred pangas.
So again, I find in favour of the petitioner.

'Lastly, Mr Musungulushi provided evidence that the Zambia National
Bootlicking Corporation was biased. I find this evidence compelling.
It is clear that ZNBC showed only MMD politicians and thugs, thereby
creating the erroneous impression that MMD was the only party that was
spilling blood. We should here recall that it was this notorious
interference with the political process which caused the subsequent
banning of all TV transmissions, in 2011, under the provisions for
Statutory Regulation.

'In the face of such overwhelming evidence I have no choice but to
declare that this petition succeeds, and I declare that the late Mr
Elected Katundu was never elected as MP for Mufumbushi on 29 June
2010. I further declare, on this day 27 May 2031, that Mr Mulombe
Musungulushi shall retroactively and posthumously serve as member of
parliament for Mufumbushi, for the period 29 June 2010 to 1 January
2012, the latter being the date of the royal decree which abolished

'Wow,' I whispered to Sara. 'How could a judge become so bent?'
'Old age,' she sniggered.
'We're also very old, but we're not bent.'
'You don't understand,' she said. 'He's thirty years beyond normal
retiring age. Every two years he needs another renewal of contract.
Fifteen times he's had to bend down, grovel and lick boots. The
humiliation has gradually deformed him physically and morally, as he
bends the law to match the ugly demands of political expediency.'

'So what's his next case?'
'After all these twenty years of the election petition, he can now
finally turn his attention to the registration of the London judgement
against Wabufi Kafupi.'

'Kafupi! Is he still alive, after all these years? What's he doing nowadays?'
'Haven't you heard? He's the new Chief Justice!'

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Consultant

The Consultant
It was Wednesday morning, and around the great table was assembled the entire cabinet, except of course for the usual few whose brains were under medical review at the Mourningside Clinic. But this was not a normal cabinet meeting. This was a workshop entitled Hanging on to Power.
At the end of the cabinet room stood the Workshop Facilitator, ready to address the workshop participants. ‘I didn’t expect to have to come here today,’ he began, ‘but when this government realised it was gradually losing its grip on power, they thought they’d better call me back to give you some more in-house training.’
The ministers looked at each other greatly perplexed, saying ‘That sounds like the voice of the Master Dribbler, but where is he?’
Seeing the problem, the Cabinet Secretary bent down, picked up the tiny Workshop Facilitator and stood him on a chair. ‘Hurray!’ they all shouted. ‘Kafupi is back!’
Sure enough, there on the chair stood the notorious Mupupu Kafupi, Professor of Hypocrisy and Dribbling (PhD) and Consultant on Political Trickery. ‘Let me begin this workshop by asking you a question,’ he said. ‘What is the purpose of holding political power?’
Immediately a monstrous oaf raised his enormous arm. ‘Yes, Dishonourable Shikashiwa,’ asked Kafupi, ‘what is the answer?’
‘To fill our pockets,’ replied Shikashiwa.
‘Mistake!’ squealed Kafupi, jumping up and down excitedly on his high heels. ‘Somebody tell me, why is that a mistake?’
A shrunken little weasel raised his bony hand. ‘Yes, Mealie Mouth Mulufyanya,' said Kafupi sarcastically, 'so even you realise that was a mistake?’
‘Yes it was a mistake,' Mulufyanya replied eagerly, 'because Rotten Shikashiwa is the Minister of Misinformation, and therefore he should never tell the truth!’
‘That's another mistake!’ snapped Kafupi angrily. ‘Let me ask a more simple question. Which country are you governing?’
'Zambia,' they all answered enthusiastically.
‘Partly right,’ said Kafupi, trying to encourage the dull fellows. ‘But the government also works for the benefit of another country. Which is that?’
‘China?' suggested Strangulation Mushukilila, Minister for Bungling the Budget.
‘Another big mistake,’ said Kafupi grimly. ‘Now I see the problem with you fellows. You never know when to tell the truth and when to lie. Worst of all, you have a terrible tendency to get it the wrong way round.’
‘So how do we know which is which?’ they groaned. ‘Is there a simple rule we can follow?’
‘That’s why I’m here today,’ said Kafupi. ‘You have to know which button to press. It depends whether you're talking about Zambia or Zombia.'
‘But how do we know which is which?’
If you press the Zambia button then you must follow constitution and the rule of law, and the government is there to provide services to the people. In Zambia you must be clear that you are Zambians and that you are working for your fellow Zambians.’
‘So what about Zombia?’
‘If you press the Zombia button, then the system and vocabulary is quite opposite. Zombia is not guided by any constitution and the police are there to investigate your political opponents, now called enemies of the state. The purpose of the judiciary is to put these enemies in jail. Above all, if you are Zombies in Zombia, then your job is to suck money out of Zambians.’
‘So which are we?’ cried a puzzled voice. 'Are we Zambians or Zombies?'
‘I’m glad you asked that question, because the answer reveals the secret of which button you must press. Here in this room we are all Zombies.’
‘If we are Zombies, then we only need one button!’
‘It’s not quite that simple,’ explained Kafupi. ‘You have to press the Zambia button when you want to know what to say, but press the Zombia button when you want to know how to act.’
‘I don’t understand this at all,’ complained Strangulation Mushikilila. What about my budget? Is it Zambian or Zombian?’
‘A nice example of the current state of prevailing idiocy,’ scoffed Kafupi. 'You completely bungled the budget by confusing Zambia with Zombia. You allowed donor money to be stolen from the Ministry of Death even though you know the donors are always watching over their money. It is only the tax collected from Zambians which should be put in the Zombia budget, from where it can be safely used for party cadres, slush funds, bribing magistrates, building mansions and so on.'
‘Then I wonder,’ said the puzzled Mushikilila, 'whether the word steal exists in Zombia.'
‘Of course it doesn't,’ snapped Kafupi irritably. ‘Only Zambians steal, but Zombies do not. In Zombia the head of government is the king. A king, by definition, already owns everything. If he takes something which already belongs to him, he cannot possibly be stealing. Since the entire government acts in the king’s name, the very notion of the government stealing is entirely meaningless and incomprehensible.’
Just then was the sound of a large snore, and then a crash as the Great Leader Nyamasoya fell backwards off his chair, woke up with start, and looked at his watch. ‘Good gracious!’ he exclaimed, ‘my plane must be waiting. I’m due to attend the Dance of the Naked Virgins in Orgyland, I must be off!’
‘I can see you all need a lot more tuition,’ declared Kafupi, as the sound of the Nyamsoya’s large clumsy feet receded down the corridor. ‘So while he’s away, I shall be taking over.’
Mushikilila scratched his head. ‘Is that allowed in the constitution?’
‘You’ve pressed the wrong button again,’ laughed Kafupi. ‘In Zombia, there’s no such word.’

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Return of the Vampire

Return of the Vampire

‘Turn on Muvi TV,’ said Sara, ‘the news must have already started.’
As the picture gradually appeared on the screen of our ancient Supersonic we were presented with yet another sombre scene on the airport tarmac. Eight smartly uniformed soldiers stood around a huge polished wooden coffin. Surrounding the coffin was a crowd of mourners, crying and wailing, some rolling on the ground in grief.
‘As usual,’ said Sara, ‘all the rumours were right, and the government statements were all lies. Telling us he went for medical review!’
‘Perhaps they needed a coroner to review the corpse, to make doubly sure it was dead,’ I suggested.
But as we were talking the lid of the coffin suddenly flew open, and the crowd retreated, screaming in terror. The corpse sat up, revealing the infamous and frightening figure of the President of Vice, the infamous Redlip Dracula, with blood dripping down his red lips. Dracula carefully stepped out, closed the lid, and then stood on the coffin to address the crowd, which now came inching back towards him, transfixed by this eerie resurrection.
‘He looks better than I’ve seen him for years,’ I said.
‘Maybe the undertaker applied some make-up,’ suggested Sara.
‘My fellow zombies of Zombia,’ he began, as the crowd cheered, ‘while I was away there was an ugly rumour that I was dead!’
‘Ayi! Ayi!’ shouted the crowd. ‘Boza! Liars!’
‘These liars who wished me dead,’ continued Dracula, ‘are Satanists, sadists and witches!’
‘Good gracious,’ said Sara, ‘he’s insulting all the innocent citizens who paid for his medical expenses!’
‘He’s following the legacy,’ I explained, ‘of spitting in the faces of the voters.’
‘These Satanists,’ continued Dracula, ‘are jealous because they will die and go to Hell, but we vampires shall live for ever!’
‘Hurray!’ shouted the crowd. ‘Long live the vampires!’
‘Even the sadists are also jealous of our powers! They derive their petty pleasures from torturing a few people, but we vampires can suck the blood out of the entire population!’
‘And burn down their churches!’ sang the enthusiastic crowd.
‘And especially these witches, how they hate and envy us,’ shouted Dracula. ‘Because we can fly our coffins all the way to Johannesburg, whereas these useless witches fall out of the sky even before they have reached Kafue!’
‘Yoosiless baloshi!’ sang the crowd. ‘Send William Panga to deal with them!’
‘The Movement of Merciless Dracula, the MMD, will never die! shouted the Redlip Dracula, as his arms swung aimlessly and his body swayed inside his empty suit. ‘We are the living dead!’
‘We are the Malignant Moving Dead, we are the MMD!’ sang the jubilant crowd of bloodthirsty parasites.
‘But we must understand the lies of these people who thought I was dead,’ said Dracula, now in a more conciliatory tone. ‘We must remember that we ourselves were once human, and used to think like them. They think that if somebody lies down in a coffin for weeks, his body all cold, then he must be dead.’
‘Ha ha,’ laughed the crowd. ‘He just needs a few pints of blood! Send him to Mufumbwe!’
‘Even many vampires,’ continued Dracula, ‘don’t understand how sick you can become from sucking too much blood. Before I was admitted to the clinic I had personally sucked the blood out of the constitution, and left it lifeless. I had also sucked enough blood from the Director of Public Prosecutions to turn him into the Dracula of Public Persecutions. I had drunk so much blood that it was beginning to leak from my stomach into the other parts of my body, even into my veins. I was seriously in need of medical review.’
‘Vampires never die!’ shouted the crowd enthusiastically.
‘They never die,’ I said to Sara. ‘They just kill everybody else.
‘And we don’t have clinics for vampires in Zambia,’ said Sara. ‘That’s why they have to be sent out of the country for any minor ailment, even indigestion.’
‘That’s why they’re so expensive,’ I said. ‘But people who complain are not sensitive to their special needs.’
‘While at the clinic,’ continued Redlip Dracula, ‘I had to have all the acid in my veins replaced, because I couldn’t digest the excess of blood in my stomach.’
‘You are our champion bloodsucker!’ cheered the crowd. ‘An example to all vampires!’
‘But now I’m back,’ said Dracula, as the crowd continued to cheer, ‘we must continue our good work. Our next task is to win the next by-election in Alangizi. Our strategy is to suck so much blood out of democracy that it never raises its ugly violent head again. Then we shall have a referendum to accept the new draculocracy, a system where our victims just lie down and give their blood peacefully.’
‘Hurray,’ laughed the crowd. ‘We are a peaceful nation.’
Then suddenly, without warning, he stepped back into his coffin and closed the lid. There was a whooshing noise as the coffin slid along the tarmac, lifted up into the air, and disappeared into the night sky.
‘Where’s he gone?’ wondered Sara.
‘Perhaps he had an urgent need to go to the toilet,’ I suggested.
‘Yes,’ she said. ‘He had a sudden emergency evacuation.’

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The huge King Werewolf stood at the window of his palace, looking up at the full moon. ‘What a clever fellow I was,’ he growled, ‘to hold that by-election at this time of the month. How my werewolves terrorised the opposition! What a brilliant strategist I am!’
‘But you lost,’ sneered his skinny wife, Queen Greyhound, as she scratched her ear with her hind leg.
‘I know that!’ he barked angrily. ‘But we nearly won! We were only a couple of hundred votes behind. If only we’d bitten off a few more fingers, there would have been fewer opposition votes in the ballot box.’
‘These villagers,’ sighed the Queen, ‘have very tough fingers.’
Just then their faithful spaniel, dressed in a smart white uniform with gold trim, came to the door and banged a little gong. ‘You Excellencies, supper is served in the banqueting room.’ The king sniffed the air and made a run for the T-bone steak.
‘Werewolf!’ squealed the queen, ‘go upstairs and get dressed! Suppose we have visitors, and they see you like that! All will be revealed!’
The queen was already seated at the long table when the king came back, nicely dressed in a suit and tie. ‘Not on all fours!’ snapped the queen angrily, ‘if Ha Ha sees you he’ll say Ha Ha! You know he already has his suspicions. Even if we’re alone, you must practice walking on two legs!’
‘It makes my knees ache terribly,’ whined King Werewolf, as he tottered precariously to the table, sat awkwardly on his chair, and then put his front paws on the table in order to attack the huge pile of T-Bone steaks. After a few minutes he had torn the flesh from all the bones, and washed down the feast with a large jug of red wine. Then he sat back in his chair and belched with satisfaction. ‘Send these bones to the humans in the kitchen,’ he commanded. ‘We must look after the lower classes.’
‘Yes dear,’ said his devoted wife. ‘You’re always so kind and generous, with such a great interest in human rights.’
As she spoke, the faithful spaniel came back. ‘Suspector General Fracas Kaboxer has arrived,’ he announced, as a confused boxer dog ambled into the room, tripped over the carpet, and fell onto the coffee table.
‘What do you want?’ growled the king.
‘Just came for the list of your enemies for tonight, Your Excellency,’ whined Kaboxer. ‘I’ve already got six empty cells waiting, and I’ve prepared the list of offences and the charge sheets. All I need now is the list of people to arrest.’
‘You idiot!’ growled His Excellency King Werewolf. ‘You’re the one that lost me the by-election! I sent you to Mufumbushi to arrest the opposition, but all you did was hide in your office, shake with fear and urinate all over the floor! Now you want to start arresting after the election is over! Get out! Get out!’ he screamed, as the hapless Kaboxer scurried out of the room.
‘Since your clever strategy for Mufumbushi has obviously misfired,’ sneered the queen, ‘how do you expect to win next year’s general election?’
‘Luckily,’ said the king, ‘my brain is not as small as Ha Ha imagines, and I am capable of learning from my mistakes. It is clear that two busloads of werewolves were not enough to subdue Mufumbushi. So obviously we don’t have enough werewolves to terrorise the whole country in a general election. I shall use a new strategy.’
‘So what are you going to do?’
‘Since werewolves are only a small elite, and only reveal ourselves during the full moon, I shall use ordinary dogs to terrorise the country during the next election.'
‘Where will you get them from?’
‘The Movement for Mad Dogs has already started a breeding programme. I should have at least a million ready for next year. With ten thousand vicious dogs terrorising each constituency, people will be too scared to go and vote. Only the dogs will vote.’
‘But dogs can’t vote!’
‘I’ve thought of everything. I’m changing the constitution. The National Canine Club, the NCC, will do anything I tell them.’
‘Excellent!’ laughed Queen Greyhound. ‘At last we shall have a government of dogs, by dogs, for dogs. But won’t the humans be annoyed?’
‘No,’ said the king. ‘With my huge brain I have thought it through. You see, it won’t be a government of dogs, it will be a government of werewolves. As the Chief Werewolf, I shall be perfectly placed to see the needs of both sides, and to bring together these previously warring factions, humans and dogs. I shall unite the nation!’
‘But what will the dogs be given? Will they be given employment?’
‘Of course,’ laughed the king. ‘Previously we have treated people like dogs, paid them like dogs, housed them like dogs, and they have died like dogs. So when we actually employ dogs, that will be more appropriate, and both sides will be happy.’
But suddenly King Werewolf stopped talking, raised his snout and sniffed the air. Then he was down on all fours, and off at the gallop, out of the palace. The queen turned to the little spaniel. ‘What’s happening? Where’s he gone?’
‘It’s part of the new breeding programme,’ said the spaniel. ‘That bitch has come round again.’