Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Constable Chilufya Takes Charge

Constable Chilufya
Takes Charge
Dear Diary, I’m getting increasingly worried about my dear husband. When he came down the stairs this morning he was swinging his arms and shouting ‘Left right, left right.’ At the bottom of the stairs it was ‘Left turn!’ as he marched to the French window, saluted the flag in the front garden and shouted ‘One Zambia, One Chilufya!’
‘Sit down, dear,’ I said, ‘and eat your cornflakes. You’ve got a busy day of hiring and firing, you don’t want to over excite yourself too early in the day.’
‘How can I be in charge of the nation on a bowl of cornflakes?’ he shouted, ‘bring me a T-bone steak!’
‘Don’t you shout at me as if I’m your Cabinet Secretary,’ I told him. ‘I’m your wife and your doctor. It’s my job to control your temper and your cholesterol, so you don’t have another bad turn. We wouldn’t want our country to be deprived of such a Great Leader after waiting for all these forty-seven years.’
‘You’ve got a good point there,’ he said, as he quietened down, and stroked his battered chin pensively. ‘We don’t want a mere T-bone steak to interfere with my destiny. I remember the day I was dismissed as a police constable, and how I vowed to become president and dismiss everybody and…’
‘On this subject of hiring and firing,’ I interrupted him, ‘you had better stop this unfortunate and awkward habit you have developed of appointing a person one day and firing them the next. People are saying you don’t know what you’re doing.’
‘Hah,’ he sneered derisively, ‘it’s only you who doesn’t know what I’m doing. Don’t you realize that every now and again I deliberately pick some notorious crook, or otherwise a driveling idiot, and appoint them to a position that needs both brains and honesty. As soon as there is a public outcry I reverse the appointment, then everybody praises me as a listening leader.’
‘How clever of you, my dear,’ I replied, as I poured him another cup of tea. ‘Although sometimes you don’t reverse the appointment.’
‘Sometimes, of course, it is necessary to demonstrate the power of the Great Leader, who cannot jump to every whim of the ignorant mob. We mustn’t carry democracy too far.’
‘How wise you are in these matters,’ I said. ‘I hadn’t thought of these complexities that come so easily to your astute political brain. I’m only a simple medical doctor. But even so, my dear, I wonder whether you really need all these commissions of inquiry.’
‘Really my dear? What is your medical advice? Should I amputate them?’
‘Well, silly me, I just thought that perhaps these problems could be dealt with by parliamentary committees of inquiry.’
‘Hah!’ he scoffed, spilling his tea all over his latest shiny suit. ‘Typical of a woman! What a foolish suggestion! Haven’t you noticed that I haven’t got a majority in parliament! Already they’ve got too much control! And now you want me to give them control over my inquiries! Any more cheek from them and I shall dissolve parliament entirely. I shall send them back to their constituencies. If they can still find them. Some of them were taken there by helicopter and will never be able to find them again.’
‘A lot of questions are being asked in parliament. And your friend Dotty Scotty doesn’t seem able to answer them properly. He opens and closes his mouth without saying anything, like a fish out of water.’
‘Don’t make fun of my dear friend Dotty,’ he laughed affectionately. ‘His English isn’t very good. He does much better in Bemba.’
‘I’ve got an idea!’ I said. ‘Why not have judicial inquiries?’
‘How little you understand these things,’ he scoffed. ‘When I appoint my commissioners, I always outline the findings which I expect to find in their report. Now the judiciary claims to be independent, so it’s enormously expensive to get them to behave otherwise. This country doesn’t need all this endless talk in parliament and in the courts. All we need is a strong leader like me to put things right.’
‘Half a minute,’ I said. ‘What about the new constitution. Isn’t there a big danger that it could limit the powers of the Great Leader?’
‘A very big danger,’ he laughed.
‘So what are you doing about it?’
‘I’ve already done it,’ he laughed. ‘I’ve appointed another commission of inquiry to suggest a new constitution.’
‘I thought it was a committee of experts?’
‘My dear, you need to have a more skeptical approach to political vocabulary. In this case, committee of experts actually means commission of idiots. But to bring a bit of sense to the committee I’ve taken the trouble to include three Catholic Bishops.’
‘Do they know anything about constitutions?’
‘Absolutely nothing. They are implacably opposed to constitutions, instead believing that I need to be guided only by the Ten Commandments, and of course by the Lord My God who in his Great Wisdom appointed me as the Great Leader.’
‘You were appointed by God?’
‘Of course. It is God who gave me my enormous belief in myself, and my enormous power over my people. Me, God, and my Commissions, we’re going to clean up this country, which has been going to the dogs.’
‘Going to the dogs?’ I laughed. ‘There aren’t any dogs!’
‘No dogs?’
‘No,’ I said. ‘They’ve all been eaten by the Chinese.’


  1. Kalaki! You're such a genius. You bring out issues so well. I love the ending. There are No dogs. They have all been eaten by the Chinese. Absolutely true!
    What do you do for a living Kalaki?

  2. An ingenious masterpiece! But we are also interested in one which will for once praise the "Great Leader" for the little good things he has done...

  3. Mweemba, What do I do for a living? I hire out my beautiful body for sexual services. But rest on Sunday. I am a Christian.

  4. Kalaki, you hire out your body for sexual services? I can employ you as my garden-boy or is it garden-man, or atleast recommend you to a participant in the forthcoming READY FOR MARRIAGE EXTRA-ORDINARY!

  5. Fantastic piece!! You should conduct workshops and teach alot of the so called writers in our local papers how to write with the use of their faculties

  6. wow. mauless. mwakamba mudala

  7. Excellent writing. Tongue in cheek taken to new heights !!

    However, as a previous reader wrote a few notes of praise for several jobs so far well done would be fair , unless of course you are writing on behalf of one of the opposition parties !!