Kalaki’s Korner: State House Invaded!

‘What on Earth’s going on in Lusaka?’ I asked Kupela. ‘Last week on Monday there were reports that the army had State House surrounded! Was it an attempted coup d’etat or what!’
‘Most people believe that Cycle Mata collapsed, and the army was ready to protect the nation from any one of his self-appointed successors grabbing the reins of power.’
‘But did he really collapse?’
‘Of course not,’ she laughed.
‘So why do people believe it?’
‘Because the story appeared on Yapdog,’ laughed Sara. ‘Everybody used to think their stories were all lies, just cooked up to embarrass the government. But then a month ago the government closed it down. So now they think that all the Yapdog stories must be true, and it’s the Lapdog press that’s always telling lies. Since Yapdog was officially closed down it has trebled its readership.’
‘Half a minute,’ I said. ‘If the government closed it down, then how does Yapdog publish its stories?’
‘This is the Third World,’ laughed Kupela. ‘Governments are too inefficient to achieve their totalitarian ambitions, and their spooks start to blab after a couple of beers.’
‘So what’s the true story?’ I said. ‘Did the army really surround State House?’
‘Oh yes,’ she laughed.
‘State House was being invaded.’
‘What!’ I exclaimed. ‘By the army?’
‘No, of course not. By the DEC, the Dumping Ecstasy Commission!’
‘So what was the army doing?’
‘It was preventing any ecstasy dealers escaping over the wall, which at State House makes a very large and potentially porous perimeter.’
‘How do you know all this?’ I asked in exasperation.
‘My boyfriend’s sister has a friend whose niece has three boyfriends in the Shushushu, so all her stories are seriously cross-referenced.’
‘Good gracious,’ I said. ‘So what is the real story? Why did the DEC invade State House?’
‘Because of this dude Brave Kangalala, who had been accusing the government of persecuting its political opponents and critics with bogus charges. Anybody they wanted to fix, claimed Kangalala, they would just invade their house and search it for 24 hours until they find some incriminating evidence.’
‘But that wouldn’t work if they don’t find anything.’
‘If they don’t find it then they just plant it,’ laughed Kupela. ‘That’s why they’re called the Dumping Ecstasy Commission.’
‘Now one day,’ explained Kupela, ‘this same Kangalala accused the government of corruptly winning the election by making fake promises. Furthermore, he suggested that their failure to implement their election promises strongly suggested that they were high on something, because they all seemed to be wandering around in a daze, appointing ministers one week and firing them the next.’
‘So they arrested Kangalala?’
‘No, they’re not quite as stupid as that. They invaded State House and conducted a search. They saw a good chance to make a nice show that they could also investigate government, and of course to show that the government is not corrupt.’
‘And what did they find?’
‘Of course they found from all the computer records that the accusation of election fraud was not correct. Kangalala had claimed that the government had promised more money in your pocket, but it was found that they had promised more money in our pocket. Similarly the promise to reform the judiciary turned out to be deform the judiciary. They had never promised to finalize the constitution, only to digitalize the constitution. They never said they would reduce the price of fuel, only reduce the subsidy on fuel. Rather than reducing the number of ministers they had promised to redouble the number of ministers. There was no evidence of fraud or false pretences.’
‘What about restoring the Barotseland Agreement?’
‘That turned out to be deploring the Barotseland Agreement.’
‘What about doing everything in 90 days?
‘That turned out to be doing everything in 90 decades.’
‘What about repealing the Public Order Act?’
‘That turned out to be retaining the Public Order Act.’
‘What about bringing the Freedom of Information Bill?’
‘That turned out to be burying the Freedom of Information Bill.’
‘Huh!’ But there still remains the little matter of creating five million jobs!’
‘They certainly promised that. But the DEC investigators found detailed plans to create 5,000 new civil service jobs in each of 1,000 new districts.’
‘And did they find any incriminating drugs?’
‘They did find a suitcase of suspicious looking pills under the bed of the medical doctor who was a relative of Cycle Mata. But according to the DEC report, these turned out to be Vermox de-worming tablets. The doctor had noticed that some horrible monstrous worms had wormed themselves into government, and she was planning a massive de-worming operation, beginning with the Cabinet.’
‘So they couldn’t arrest anybody?’
‘There was absolutely no evidence of fraud or corruption. According to the DEC report, the government was completely exonerated.’
‘I bet they thought of charging Brave Kangalala with something! Like causing public panic!’
‘But it was the army that caused the panic!’
‘They could have charged him with making false accusations that the government is corrupt.’
‘They wouldn’t want to risk arguing that in court,’ laughed Kupela.
‘How about charging him with planting ecstasy in State House?’
‘But the DEC didn’t plant any, so they couldn’t accuse him of that!’
‘How disappointing!’ I laughed. ‘They had to let him go!’
‘Don’t worry,’ said Kupela. ‘They’ll get him next time!’

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