How to ‘eat’ the president’s money today

Back in our childhood, our younger brothers used to get many favours from our parents. Our dad would always return from work with some special eats for them, and this often attracted our envy.

We came up with a trick that worked perfectly. It was a game. Whenever they received the eats, we would invite them to act as the herdsmen, with us as their cows. The cows had to be fed whenever they mooed. Then we would go down onto our fours and mooed until the eats were all served to us and done. The game would then end immediately.

The Baganda say ‘eby’omusiru, omugezi y’abirya’ (things of the foolish are eaten by the wise). It took long before our brothers learnt the mischief behind the game. And it turned ugly when they adopted the brutal notion that cows are not only fed, they are also whipped.

We changed tact. As Balthasar Gracian says in The Art of Worldly Wisdom, “cunning grows in deceit at seeing itself discovered, and tries to deceive with truth itself”.

So, we carefully studied what they liked to hear about themselves, and we served them accordingly whenever we wanted to eat their stuff. The one whose foot was deficient on nails smiled whenever it was showered with praise. I remember someone saying that it was ‘a royal foot’!

With that rich experience, I will volunteer some free advice here. For all opportunists out there, here could be your way out of want. And if you try this and fail to get the president into his pocket, maybe your poverty is God-sent.

First thing, study the president and his interests – and maybe dislikes. Don’t study what he should do, rather what he would want to do. If you put so much emphasis on what he should do, you will fall out on arrival. Of course, your first discovery will be that he wants to be told what he already knows or wants to be the case. Don’t get any wiser than that.

If you use the right methods of inquiry, your second discovery will be that when you disagree with him on anything; of course you are wrong – and be willing to be lectured at length. When the lecture comes, nod all through and use every gesture available in your facial toolkit to demonstrate that you are awed by his wisdom.

If he makes any mistake that is too obvious to be denied, either take responsibility for it or attribute it to opposition, especially that boy Bobi Wine. Here, underline Bobi Wine. This is where the goldmine is now. Study that boy’s strengths, weaknesses, plans, moves, diet, manners, mannerisms, likes, dislikes, body language, sleeping habits, networks, relatives, ancestry, home, neighbours, etc.

As an authority on Bobi Wine, you can be sure of being listened to before any minister, professor, technocrat, or veteran. If you try to seek for the president’s audience and his handlers make it difficult (for you will surely find there many other groups with competing Bobi neutralisation proposals); just find some money (capital), identify a strategic place on Entebbe road and erect a big billboard with Bobi Wine’s face and a caption – I CAN SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

Be assured, you won’t be ignored. And such a billboard can’t be touched by police, because it will be assumed to be from above. Among other possible suggestions that will sell, you may indicate that you can come up with a machine that can detect plans of ‘subversionary’ CONCERTS ahead of time and it emits, by infrared, a chaos bug right into the mind of the organiser to disorient it.

Since banning the concerts has come with obvious performance of dictatorship, show the president that there are easier solutions such as the above. Don’t be so scared that it won’t make sense to him, you might be surprised.

Never underestimate the capacity of a man in panic. The Baganda say “ekyekango tekimanya muzira; embwa bwogikuba omukalo edduka” (shock knows not the courageous; when you hit a dog with hard smoked meat, it flees). At the point we are, pigs can fly.

Just write your proposal strategically, and punctuate it with Bobi Wine instead of commas and full stops. Do you need project/business proposal writing skills? No. In any case, if he doesn’t read it himself (because there are quite many proposals now), it might be evaluated by Bebe Cool, Catherine Kusasira, or Balaam Barugahara.

Weren’t they receiving youth development proposals at Kololo recently? Such are the times, get it and fit in. To hell with experts if they can’t fix our national problem!

Read and make use of Anthony Scaramucci who tells us that “panic implies that there is no rational thought taking place. [One is] powerless to logic, and subject to seemingly unthinkable behaviour”. So, in that state, it perfectly makes sense that Bobi Wine is an enemy to the country’s progress and therefore shouldn’t sing. Anything else in that direction will increasingly make sense. After all, there is no more public to worry about; they now expect anything. That’s why there was no shock over UPDF’s appropriation of the red beret.

The other possible strategy for chopping his dollar is opening up a social media account where you invest in relentlessly attacking Bobi Wine and People Power. You won’t do this for long before being noticed as a potentially useful agent worth facilitating. In reverse, you may also just announce that you are organising a mega Bobi Wine concert. You could get a call with a bigger offer. 

Never mind that silly talk that all he will dish out to you is your tax money and that it could have been used to improve the country’s hospitals, schools, or roads. That is sheer blackmail. The country can go and marry its mother.

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Written by Jimmy Spire Ssentongo (0)

The author is a teacher of philosophy

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