The minister picked the phone on the first ring. She listened quietly to our rumbling and when she thought we were done, she said to fix an appointment with her PA. “I don’t just give interviews fwaaa to some obscure reporters,” she added.
It’s about the content, the subject of the interview and not the calibre of the reporter, we said just as she was about to hang up.
“You’ve two minutes,” she blurted acerbically.
“You stopped short of pulling some men by the ears and the banking hall somewhere because of a queue. Don’t you remember what former super minister Amama Mbabazi said about jumping queues?”
“Who is this?”
“E. Tin. Did you order arrest of some hapless men for not giving you the queue in a bank?”
“What are you talking about, E Team?”
“Whatever! Do you know who I’m?”
“Yes, you know who you’re but if you don’t recall the bank incident and can’t recall your own ID too, then a quick reminder that you are Minister Chaff Okiror.”
“Haha, you must be from north, it’s pronounced Jaff, not chaff. And Akiror, not Okiror.”
“Listen, your two minutes are up. And just to remind you, those men had to be taught a lesson. How can adults not know to accord a VIP utmost respect at all times? None of their ancestors has ever been a minister and I bet you me, there won’t ever be any in their lineage even if Jesus came back.”
“Okay, so what lessons did you teach them?”
“The meaning of VIP. It’s not easy being one but, unfortunately, some of these urchins will never know. How do you stand in my way as if our schedules are the same. I’m a busy person.”
“But banking halls have areas sections for...”
“That isn’t important now. Police are handling them. What is important is that I’m a VIP and they are not, and they tried to stand in my way.”
“There are laws.”
“We make those laws and I know the law better than those two urchins. For your information, I’m a woman. Wait and see. I will add charges of sexual harassment on them. They will learn never to stand in the way of a VIP.”
“But those men probably didn’t know you were a minister.”
“That is the more reasons to teach them a lasting lesson. It’s not easy to be a minister and citizens must make effort to know all ministers. It’s okay if you can’t sing the national anthem because you prefer to listen to Bobi Wine, but you must know all ministers. This government made a lot of sacrifice to get to where it is today so some respect to the leaders in government is a must.”
“If you can’t pronounce the name because of your bogus accent, just call me Honourable, okay?”
“I guess we should be thankful you didn’t have a gun on you there, otherwise we would have been talking of burial of those two and not just illegal detention.”
“I’m still angry even after one week has passed. I will teach them a lifetime lesson. Imagine now my name is in the papers yet I prefer to work quietly.”
“Then you should have quietly queued up like every client with two feet.”
“A whole minister? Do you reporters have an inkling what it takes to be a minister? Just write what you want. I warn you not to quote any of this conversation because you can’t understand anything, just like those two men. If you quote me, I will show you what I’m made of.”