I am telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

WHAT I like about Africa is that there is never a dull moment, that one I can assure, but I am also sure that where I live in Manzese, the residents don’t even know the meaning of the word ‘dull’.

In Manzese if you die of boredom, it will be obvious that you have a very major problem, or it is possible that you need counselling.

In my beloved Manzese, any information that concerns you is not dictated by you or your family, it is dictated by a team of nosey people who believe that it is their birth right to know everything that concerns you or your family, here in Tanzania we call them ‘Wambeya”.

They are not called by that name because they come from that region called Mbeya, the home of my beloved wife Mama Boyi, they are called that because they know how to dig for information and whisper it around, whether true or false.

In my neighborhood, the prefect of the nosey gang, or the ‘Chief Mbeya’ is someone called Oscar the Hawker, who is responsible for the breakup of many happy homes in Manzese and beyond (mine survived by a whisker).

This time round Oscar was at it again, and this time he managed to spread rumors that I am one of the people who has been entrusted by the government in the negotiations concerning the country’s port operations.

This is after I sold a nice plot left to me by my late aunt for a substantial amount of money, which is why I have been responsible for making several grown men stagger in broad daylight after swallowing enough frothy liquid to drown a small child, on my bill.

The funny thing here is that my name did not appear on any list suggesting that Madam President appointed me to lead the negotiation team, but unfortunately this fellow from the gutter press decided to implicate me in the whole saga.

Oscar the Hawker happens to be a neighbor of mine in Manzese, and he went around telling folks that apart from getting a sizeable amount in my account, l was also on the verge of being appointed the Governor of the Central Bank.

“This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we have the revised list in our office, and Baba Boyi features prominently. He is alleged to have gone to the bank in town and left carrying three ‘virobas’ stuffed with red notes, l even have in my camera a picture of the whole scene,” said this fellow.

From that moment onwards, my front door has seen strange things, because people lined up requesting to see me on ‘urgent’ matters, and all these people acted as if we are the best of friends, although most of them were total strangers to me.

“Baba Boyi, how have you been my dear friend, it’s a long time since l last saw you, and l can see nowadays you are spotting a serious kitambi, it seems things are not bad on your part, ” said a fat woman whom l have never met before.

She told me that we went to the same high school back then, and that she used to share her lunch with me when I did not have anything to eat. l told her that it was impossible for her to be my former classmate as she claimed, because l went to a boy’s school, and she told me that it might have been my twin brother.

l was about to tell her that l did not have a twin brother but knew that she will instead come up with a new tact, but in short she told me that her daughter was getting married and she was collecting contributions from her ‘closest’ friends.

“You see baba Boyi, l have always considered you as my family and very close friend, that is why l came to you directly, and l know with your status in the society, you will not hesitate to part with a few million shillings for this just cause!” she said.

Thank God for my warlike wife, who did not hesitate to throw her out unceremoniously, as another fellow who looked like a retired car thief attempted to enter next.

It is because of this harassment that l decided to write an open letter to Madam President and complained bitterly, telling her that for me to continue living in peace she should call a press conference at the State House and clear my name before it was too late.

“Dear Madam, it is unfortunate that the port issue has tarnished my very clean image, and it has reached a point where my home is in danger of being turned into a children’s home, because people are accusing me of denying food to their dying children and instead lam giving generous ‘offers’, that is why they say l should feed their children,” read part of the letter.

l told the top boss that even mzee Zakayo has turned against me, and nowadays he is selling beer to me at double price, and when l asked him why, he told me something to the effect that because Tanzania is on the verge of doing good economically because of the port, he is rehearsing how things will be.

“Dear Madam President, even my boss is looking at me with suspicion, and it was just the other day he cornered me in the corridor and whispered in my ear that the company is facing a financial crisis, and told me that they will appreciate it if l would be kind enough to give them a soft loan so that they can pay the salaries of my fellow employees…….’fifty million will be enough’ he said to me,” l wrote in one paragraph.

To conclude, l told the inhabitant of the big, white house that l would really appreciate it if in one of her addresses to the nation, she should take a few minutes and clear my name, and if she was considerate, she should also consider me for a ministerial position, telling her that something in the range of the ministry of finance would be appropriate.

l am still waiting for her response, but in the meantime, l am forced to swallow my beer at dingy places where people don’t know me, because once l show my face in a bar where l am well known, then several pieces of paper with the word ‘bill’ on top appear on my table, sent by fellows who try to drink on my account.

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