Screwed by faulty test kits

What is politics? Many liken it to using colourful words to impose on the people things that are likely to be withdrawn with more sweet talk, but Chimutu and his fellow beer-begging storytellers have a satirical way of explaining the stubborn question.

So goes their public lecture. A little girl asked her dad to define politics and he explained it this way: “Your mother and I head this house, so call us the government. We are here to take care of your needs, so we will call you the people. The nanny is the working class and your baby brother the future.”

That night, the girl retired to bed thinking about dad’s explanation. At midnight, the baby started crying and severely soiled its diaper. Not wanting to wake her mother, the girl went to the nanny’s room. Since it was locked, she peeked in the keyhole and saw her father in bed with the nanny.

The next morning, the father asked the little girl to explain in her own words what politics is all about. She replied: “Whereas one part of the government is screwing the working class and the other is sound asleep, the people are being ignored and the future is in deep s**t.”

A rude awakening to the father, the girl’s remarks make no reference whatsoever to drunken Malawians suffering endless queues for fuel, forex, food and drugs.

While government is busy screwing the working class with supernormal taxes and shortages, I cry for our bartender who committed suicide after undergoing an HIV test using the kits which were lately described as faulty by the World Health Organisation. As if that is not enough, the charming servant of drunken minds was buried in borrowed graves because filling stations are dry.

Who is screwing who? Don’t tell me that even Jesus of Nazareth spent nights in a rented grave. Cars were invented centuries after his widely worshipped death and resurrection.   In fact, nobody suffered the humiliation I did when I hired Chimimba’s car for the bartender’s funeral.

The potbellied womaniser’s saloon is one to avoid at all cost. Having long refused to buy a yellow or green car, he was compelled by high taxes and forex famine to buy a red machine that advertises both where his whereabouts and the identity of sexual partners he loves to smuggle.

All the way, Chimutu, wife Carol, our Ulunji and I were greeted by strange smiles, waves, fingers and flying kisses of familiarity-all from teen girls. Some seemingly thought I would stop for a quickie just as others were supposedly disgusted that I was carrying a woman. In a street jam, the slimmest of them exclaimed “hi, darling” only to apologise when she noticed Carol’s stabbing stare.

“Sorry, I thought it’s the fat man. He is my boyfriend,” said the teenager with an exaggerated Zimbabwean accent.

“Mr Chimimba is not a boy. He is happily married,” my wife fumed at the husband snatcher”.

I didn’t comment. Fearing the worst, I just sped away. So embarrassing was the sight that Chimutu, in an effort to clear Chimimba’s name, disclosed that the car once worked as a taxi. The driver, he said, used to park the car near a red-light pub for short-time couples panting for a hiding place.

“As a rest house, the car made more money as it does on the road. However, the big boss never got a tambala because the taxi driver always complained about breakdowns and fuel scarcity. After all, mileage was always in his favour,” the storyteller said.

My wife was busy explaining how Chimutu’s tale fell short of making Chimimba a saint when I remembered the dead minibus at Kamba Beer Cathedral. The scrap makes more in one night than a running bus makes day and night.

Will this country will get rid of new HIV infections if cars become havens for senseless sex sales?

How many people are going to commit suicide in these times of unreliable test kits?

Naturally, one would probe whether taking away one’s life is the best response or why are people still killing themselves after multi-billion kwacha sensitisation campaigns. But there is nothing natural about government withdrawing technologies that have decided life and death of many.

What if our dear bartender and many others we read in the press were ill-diagnosed by the faulty instruments? Is it not murderous for medical institutions to pronounce a negative person positive or vice versa?

It might be politics to screw people on  the F  trinity—food, fuel and forex —but inconsistent rhetoric on life-saving issues puts the future in s**t.

For this Zikathnkalima, adopting faulty technologies is more disturbing than boarding a sex-starved friend’s ‘loudly’ coloured car.

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