Oh Dear Diary, I’m so worried about my dear husband. All his life he wanted this top job, but now he’s got it, he’s not happy. Of course he loves dressing up in the different fancy suits and uniforms, ordering people about and that sort of thing. But he so wanted to keep his promises as well. Especially finding employment for everybody. That was his dream.
But achieving his dream is proving terribly difficult. I tried to explain to him, right from the beginning. ‘Michael,’ I had said, ‘just because Dotty Scotty has a university degree, it doesn’t mean that he knows anything about employment. Dotty himself has been unemployed for years.’ But he wouldn’t listen.
With no progress on the employment issue, my husband put all his hopes in the Rio+20 Climate Change Conference. He went there to tell the investors that they didn’t have to worry about all this talk about the degradation of the environment, poisoning the rivers or producing toxic gases. There was a different climate in Zambia, and they could do whatever they wanted so long as they create jobs. But despite this generous offer, nobody has come.
‘I just don’t understand it,’ said Michael. ‘I got such loud applause.’
‘That was all organized by Elite Chipaso,’ I explained. ‘He’s also looking for a job.’
Dear Diary, This morning my husband came down to breakfast in a terrible fit, and refused to look at the newspapers. ‘Good morning darling,’ I said. ‘How are you this morning?’
‘I had a terrible dream,’ he shuddered. ‘I dreamt that all the unemployed youths came marching down our drive, shouting and screaming, and hacking at our front door with the machetes we gave them for the election campaign.’
‘It’s all the fault of Clueless Cluo,’ I said, ‘she took away their tujilijili, so now they’ve woken up and gone hopping mad. You’d better legalise banji, that’ll quieten them down.’
‘I think I’ll just sack a few permanent secretaries,’ he said angrily, ‘that’ll make me feel better.’
‘Just avoid any of my relatives,’ I cautioned him, ‘I’m already upset enough about this unemployment problem.’
‘Did you sleep any better?’ I asked him as he came down to breakfast this morning.
‘Much better,’ he said brightly, ‘I had a marvelous dream about how to solve the unemployment problem.’
‘Your such a visionary leader,’ I said. ‘What’s the solution?’
‘I shall announce it to the nation tomorrow. A bold new plan to divert the Zambezi from Sesheke to Lusaka, which will solve both Lusaka’s water shortage and also the unemployment problem. To maximize the number of people employed on this huge earth moving project, labourers will use teaspoons instead of shovels.’
‘I know you’re a brilliant talker,’ I laughed, ‘but I do wonder how you’ll persuade the water to flow uphill from the Zambezi Valley.’
‘It was a very technological dream,’ he answered triumphantly. ‘I also dreamt of a thousand booster pumps.’
‘But where will you get the electricity?’ I wondered, ‘after you’ve diverted all the water from Kariba?’
‘You’re beginning to sound like the Daily Nation!’ he shouted, as he walked out, banging the door behind him.
By the time I woke up this morning he had already left in his favourite red helicopter, off to Mpatumatu to visit his best friend Chipembele Kambilimbili, the only one who really understands him.
But he was back again before supper. ‘Kambilimbili has shown me how he provided employment for 250 people by building a clinic in Mpatumatu,’ he said. ‘And he has worked out that if we build 16,000 clinics, then we can employ 4 million people. The problem is solved!’
‘Quite right,’ I said. ‘The only problem is that 16,000 clinics would be enough to cater for a population of 160 million people, and would cost more than the government’s entire annual budget. Maybe you should move the project to Nigeria.’
‘You with your degree,’ he shouted, ‘you’re always sneering at my efforts!’
Dear Diary, This morning my dear husband seemed rather depressed. But by this afternoon his spirits had perked up. ‘I’ve just been talking to my Minister of Comical Commerce, Bomb Chisinga,’ he said. ‘He’s got a marvelous idea for increasing employment. All I have to do is to ban computers, and then we can go back to the old system of typed memos and letters, giving employment to tens of thousands of secretaries, typists and messengers.’
‘Look,’ I said wearily, ‘typewriters and stencils aren’t manufactured any more, NIPA no longer issues Messenger Certificates, and the only remaining duplicating machine is in the Livingstone Museum.’
‘You just find fault with everything!’ he snapped.
At breakfast this morning my husband still seemed optimistic. ‘Ha ha,’ he chirped, ‘I think I can now see the way forward. Last night I dreamt that I held a press conference where I announced the latest progress to the nation.’
‘At last!’ I exclaimed with relief. ‘What did you announce to the nation?’
‘I told them,’ he said proudly, ‘that my government will announce the new employment plan within ninety days!’
‘And will you be able to make a plan within ninety days?’ I asked.
‘That’s exactly what the journalist asked me in my dream,’ he replied.
‘And how did you answer him?’
‘I told him straight that he can’t ask me questions like that,’ he replied sternly. ‘If you can’t do your job properly, I said, you’re going to be fired!’
Dear Diary, It’s such a pity. He had so wanted the job. I feel so sorry for him.
[With a bit of help from Facebook friends, especially Chintez L Museteka]