I AM reliably informed that a calculator doesn’t commit mistakes like some ‘daladala’ conductors do with bus fare change deliberately, and over which passengers with short, rather long temper, threaten to do to them, what in legal circles is known as malice aforethought.
That’s why, being mathematically-arithmetically hopeless, it’s my favourite gadget. I consulted it the other day and it told me that my age, 64 ( Whow ! I am a very non-young creature) is the equivalent of roughly three and a half times Tanzania’s voting age.
I mused that, if the next General Election were held next week, I should vote a maximum of three times; and, being a fairly mischievous creature, I would cast a vote for the three top presidential contenders !
That would spare me the unwelcome prospect of dying of a heart attack, because whoever would emerge victor, and whichever polices the party on whose ticket he would seek to become the county’s Boss of Bosses (BoB) would be okay with me.
I would only be bothered if one of the polices would be to ban the so-called golden waters of Ilala Mchikichini, and to compel people with thirst to quench, frustrations to assassinate, and souls to soothe, to drink something called togwa.
Togwa’s English translation is something I am in desperate need of a translator to volunteer, free of charge at bestm and two bottles of beer of the volunteer’s choice, at worst !
The other evening, I was at a joint whose owner, Chris Uzima wa Milele, underestimates the intelligence of his mostly adult patrons, by naming it ‘Bia Haileweshi Ng’o Bar.’ He thought they would guzzle beer the way fish guzzle water, remain sober, and return home as sober as milk-murdering babies. In spite of being a big liar though, many people flocked there, due to the name sounding cool.
It is where I bumped into a senior citizen who, like me, on account of owning about six and a half decades, would be entitled to cast three ballots in a presidential election, if the constitution were amended to provide for that provision.
His name was Coxman Mutansumbua some names are quite some names ! Our acquaintance stretches back to the bush primary schooling era in the early 60s, when our combined age was below 18.
It meant that, we couldn’t join forces to pretend that we represented one person, who would cast ballots to elect a president, an MP and a councilor. Here we were now, mathematically entitled to vote three times each, but being restricted to do so only once, if elections were to be held soon.
Intermittent with slaughtering beer, we recalled the schooling days, including the head teacher, Mwalimu Waitu Kasinge, who, on a no-miss basis, wore a white hat, white shirt, white pair of shorts, white shoes, white socks, and was strongly suspected to wear white underpants. I reminded Cox of how he fraudulently won the election for Class 3 monitor, that we both contested, through a campaign period rumour, that I was a bed wetter.
He laughed heartily, apologized (the most belated apology since the world was created) and urged me not to spoil the evening by outdated, irrelevant school-era stories. I obliged, promising to stick to post-school, adult, relevant stories.
I re-congratulated him for his heroism dating back 35 years, by marrying a very beautiful woman, Nancy, defeating about 30 other contenders. Mighty excited, he branded me a super hero; praise I was sure was engineered by beer beginning to register its unholy impact; and proof that the name of the bar was grossly misleading.
Shortly thereafter, Mrs Mutansumbua stormed in, and gave him the photocopy of a note she had found in his jacket, while rearranging his clothes after his departure for the bar. It was a ‘thank you’ note from a lady called Lulu, for a splendid phone tablet he had bought for her as a birthday gift two days earlier.
The traditionally flawlessly-talking Coxman stammered, as he manufactured a king size lie to the effect that he knew not a single woman called Lulu in the world except his aunt who died 20 years previously.
He swore that the note was sneaked into the jacket at the office by his bloody enemies. She punched the husband, whose nose said “hi” to the floor below.
He rose, tried to punch her, but his hand, as loose as a measuring tape, couldn’t rise to the occasion, thus neutralizing eruption of the Third World War. Cox’s bladder loosened, prompting him to do, involuntarily, what he had falsely accused me of doing at school 55 years ago, in order to wreck my electoral prospects for becoming a monitor. I speculated that what happened represented what in certain circles is known as ‘ngoma droo’; a draw match !