Monday, September 28, 2020

Letter to our New President (Part II)

I still have to pinch myself to believe we have you as our new president. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking it is a dream. Sir, I am so happy for you. Whenever the country gets a new president, every citizen starts thinking their secret wishes will become true. When the guy you took over became president we had our expectations and wishes. Personally, I wanted him to get me a white girlfriend. He was unable to. But being a man of simple taste, I just settled for the divorcee that came my way.

She too was glad to have me. I am sure the former president also granted other people their wishes. The same is happening now with you as the new president. There are those who look forward to promotions at work. The jobless also take heart and grow in optimism thinking their misery will come to an end. There are the hangers-on who are just happy to drop your name, alleging to everyone within earshot that they grew up with you. There are those who claim to be such close buddies that they can even walk into your house at lunch and switch on the television.

Everyone banks their hopes on the new president. I am sure the inmates in our prisons are listening to hear if there will be an amnesty for them to be released early. The chaps on death row wonder if they will get a reprieve from the noose. If I ever become president I would make life easier for the people by asking every single one of them to write in and state one wish. Many of the wishes would be similar. Knowing our people, half the country would ask for a salary increment, less hours at work and more holidays. In your case, if you were to ask me to state one wish I wonder what it would be. There are so many of them.

For instance, I would want you to teach me how to transform into a tree at the sight of my enemies. That is easy stuff for you. You used to do it regularly back then when you were fighting that horrible man called Ian Smith. When his soldiers thought they had you cornered you would simply change into a tree. Granted my enemies are not the shooting type. Mine bring documents from the court alleging I have not paid somebody and hence my coffee table has to be sold. At their appearance I would simply turn into a tree. It would be an exciting feeling to dodge the court sheriff by changing into a tree. Hey, coming to think of it teaching me to fly would not be such a bad idea either.

I would be the envy of all my friends and former school mates. The teachers who used to thrash me and subject me to ridicule would be very sorry to see that I can fly an aeroplane. You see there are just so many things you can do for me. I am not the only one. There is so much expectation on the part of the nation. Some things you will find easy. Instructing the officials who run the city to keep it tidy should be a breeze. Honestly, I have never seen such a filthy city in my life. I think you ought to deal with that. I also want you to make sure the streetlights work. In my street, they hardly function and yet there is somebody somewhere being paid to look after them. Why not take a drive in the city at night and note every street where the lights don’t work.

In the morning whilst they are busy gorging themselves on tripe and chicken feet you can summon the officials and shock them with your findings. Now that would get everybody doing their job. You must also deal with the drivers who race through the red lights. How about the government switchboard women who never answer the phone! I suggest every morning you call different offices and note those that don’t answer the phone. You will be shocked. Go ahead and try it. So you see, I want you to be a good president. I want you to shake things up. If you are interested I can give you hundreds of tips on what to do to become a good president. But I can also give you tips on what not to do when you want to be a good president. First and foremost, you must not try and stop the citizens from drinking. People are happiest when dancing and drinking.

Actually next week when you return from vacation you should sack the minister who came up with the reduced liquor drinking hours. Some of these chaps do things without your knowledge so that you get the blame. In case you don’t know, nowadays in your country people are not free. We are not allowed to listen to music. Nor are we allowed to drink. Imagine not allowing people to drink their hard earned money. I mean it is so bad the police even tell us what time to sleep. Very soon they will be telling us when to have sex. Sir, I am certain you are shocked by my revelations. Well, I can tell you people out there are so unhappy with what your minister and policemen are doing. These are early days. Surely you don’t want citizens to start saying they miss the guy who was president before you. Some people say the new laws are in place because you hate alcohol. I don’t believe them.

I have never heard you say that. It is said that you don’t drink. That is fair enough. This being a democratic country people can choose whether to drink or not. But I disagree with those who say because you don’t drink you want the rest of us to stop drinking. That is impossible. In any case, you could never say that. When you took over, you told us you are a democrat. To me that means it is a matter of personal choice if I want to drink. Likewise, it is a matter of personal choice if I don’t want to sleep. If things go on this way we will be very unhappy. And being such a good man, I know you don’t want to see unhappy people. Just let us drink and dance!

Your loyal adviser,

Loose Canon.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.