Roy Kalaki: 2023

‘This is Stephen Cole on Al Jazeera. For our weekly Africa Interview we go over to Sulaka, the capital of Zombieland, to talk to the famous government propagandist Kibamba Chanyama. Welcome to the interview, Kibamba. First of all I’d like you to give us a bit of background on how the one-party state managed to re-emerge in Zombieland.’
          A fat self-satisfied face appeared upon the screen. ‘Thank you Stephen. It all began ten years ago, in 2013, after Zombieland’s most intrepid explorer, the late Dotty Scotty, had reached as far as North Korea, a country that no Zombie had previously reached. What he found was a revelation. All the people were dressed exactly the same, and spent most of their time marching up and down in front of their Great Leader Kim Jong Un, singing and cheering and waving their flags, and obeying his orders without question and with happy smiling faces.’
          ‘Dotty Scotty must have been terribly shocked.’
          ‘Good gracious no, he was very impressed, and declared that this looked like a very good system of government!’
          ‘Was he a fascist?’
          ‘Oh good gracious no,’ laughed Kibamba. ‘But he was very impressed by such a show of national unity. You see, in those days Zombieland was a very confused place and government was very difficult. The new Zombie government of the Punching Fist had been energetically punching in various directions, but not hitting any of its targets. Everybody had a different idea of how the country should be governed, and nobody took the government seriously.’
          ‘Didn’t the Punching Fist have a clear programme?’
          ‘Unfortunately not. They had promised everything to everybody and therefore nothing to anybody. Everybody was saying different things and arguing with each other. So when Dotty Scotty went to North Korea and saw everybody speaking with one voice he was very impressed.
So he stayed there for some time to study the system, so he could bring its benefits back to Zombieland.
          ‘Who was the president of Zombieland at that time?’
          ‘A man called Cycle Mata. But when Dotty Scotty explained to him the Korean system, he immediately changed his name to the Great Leader Pscho Ma Ta. His Punching Fist became the Paternal Father, meaning that he was now in charge of everybody.’
          ‘So how did he gain control over his constantly quarreling rabble.’
          ‘The first thing he did was to change the Constitution, which had previously been a long rambling document of 200 pages which nobody understood. He replaced it with a single sentence which said The Word of the Paternal Father is Law and All Must Obey.’
          ‘But did parliament agree to this?’
          ‘Stephen,’ laughed Kibamba, ‘You’re not seeing the implications properly. If the Paternal Father makes the law, then there is no need for a legislature. So parliament was automatically abolished!’
          ‘Wasn’t this challenged in court?’
          ‘Try to adjust your thinking,’ replied Kibamba impatiently. ‘There is no need for a court to interpret the law if the Paternal Father is the law. So courts were also abolished.’
          ‘But on what principles was the Great Leader operating?’
          ‘He acted according to his own philosophical principles.’
          ‘Did he have any?’
          ‘That’s where I came in,’ replied Kibamba proudly. ‘I was appointed the Chief Commissioner for Ideology and Propaganda and employed to write the Thoughts of the Great Leader Pscho Ma Ta which became the curriculum in school and university. All other books were banned.’
          ‘So did people stop quarreling?’
          ‘Of course. People had to follow the Thoughts of the Great Leader, so they were all of the same opinion.’
          ‘Didn’t the chiefs rebel against this intrusion into their traditional power over their subjects?’
          ‘The Great Leader had the Great Idea of putting CCTV cameras in all their bedrooms, and it soon became apparent that their nocturnal behaviour transgressed all traditional moral norms. After the public exposure of their scandalous behaviour they were all detained on Lichubi Island.’
          ‘Did anybody complain?’
          ‘Only a few. They were also sent to Lichubi Island.’
          ‘And did the economy improve?’
          ‘We soon had full employment, just as the Great Leader had promised. Half of the labour force was put into the army to march up and down and praise the Great Leader. The other half of the labour force was put down the mines to dig out copper to be sent to North Korea.’
          ‘What happened to all the money from the copper?’
          ‘It was used to pay the army to march up and down in praise of the Great Leader.’
          ‘Surely there must have been a lot of argument about all this in the press?’
          ‘All argument,’ explained Kibamba, ‘was banned in favour of national unity, peace and harmony, which were the essential principles in the Thoughts of the Great Leader. North Korean technology was used to channel all news through a department under my control known as ZNBC, Zombie News Banning and Censorship. In this way people didn’t get upset about anything divisive, unpatriotic or treasonable.’
          ‘And then this great African totalitarian experiment collapsed earlier this year, when Paramount Chief Kalaki escaped from Lichubi Island and began his great thousand mile march on Sulaka and, with his rallying cry of  Democracy and the Human Rights, restored multi-party democracy to Zombieland.’
          ‘It was a sad day for dictatorship,’ replied Kibamba.
          ‘Do you think democracy can ever work in Zombieland?’
          ‘Never!’ replied Kibamba.
          ‘Is that because the principles of democracy and human rights have been forgotten?’
          ‘Certainly not!’ replied Kibamba.
          ‘So the principles of democracy have been remembered?’
          ‘Certainly not!’ said Kibamba. ‘They were never understood in the first place!’
          ‘Well, thanks for talking to us,’ said Stephen. ‘And we do hope that you’ll soon be released from Kamfinsa Prison.’
  Original post is found here

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