The person who claimed there is no love more sincere than the love for food must have had me and a group of colleagues in mind. Had you walked into our cafeteria at lunch time last Thursday, you would have agreed with me.
The gusto with which the we were attacking the meal was awesome. Either we were very hungry or the food was simply delicious-or both. Our feast was, however, checked by the entry of MCA Chonjo. “You people can’t be serious. Look,” he said pointing at the TV.
It was lunch time news and there were images of emaciated and hungry-looking people. “How can you call yourselves servants of the people and rarua food like this when people are starving right in front of your eyes? Surely!”
Most of us stopped eating and turned our attention to the news item. A lady, looking wasted, was narrating how she and her family had not eaten for three days, and had resorted to boiling hides and wild berries. The succulent piece of roast chicken on my plate transformed into a guilt-inducing object.
“Sasa Bwana Chonjo, are you saying that we should stop eating?” asked MCA Matayo, who had not stopped munching. “Tell us one thing,” he added, moulding a lump of ugali in his right fist. “If we stop eating now, will those people’s hunger go away?” He then scooped a generous amount of gravy with the ugali and shoved it into his mouth.
“Sure. This is not their food we are eating.” That was MCA Pinto, Leader of Majority in our Assembly. “I think what we should be thinking about now is ways of raising money to help those people.” That made sense to me. I quickly regained my appetite.
“Exactly,” retorted Chonjo who was still on his feet. “I suggest that we mobilise people in our county to raise funds for the starving people,” he added.
MCA Matayo could hear none of this. “Why should we be the ones to bother when this is clearly a national issue?” he said and tore into a piece of flesh.
MCA Pinto rose to his feet, and I knew he was about to speak sense into Matayo’s head. “Bwana MCA, we always have to stand out from the crowd.”
We all agreed with Pinto, and what followed was a brainstorming session on how to raise funds for the starving folks. It was MCA Colletta who brought us back to our senses. “Before we begin talking about raising funds, do we know who really needs our help? What exactly they need? Who will be our contact person?” All of us kept silent as she spoke. “We must first establish facts.”
“I think we need to involve more of our colleagues so that we get as much information as possible,” I suggested.
“No need for that. The six of us can make a committee. Let us call it the State of Famine Fact Finding Committee,” suggested Pinto.
“That’s right,” MCA Chonjo said. “Waiter, now get me something to eat. Fried chicken, make it full.”
We quickly came up with a modest budget to be presented to the House Speaker. It only consisted of transport and per diem for each of us for one month. Owing to his position in the House, Pinto was tasked with presenting the matter to the Speaker. I am sure we will get funding, given our selfless gesture. Ama namna gani? [email protected]