What started as absolute truth in the corridors of Parliament last week matured into an X-rated rumour. The rumour? Ssemujju is serious about unseating Kadaga from the Office of the Speaker.
And the truth? Yes, it would have made so much sense if Ssemujju did not go around swearing that he means business and that he is not just another Mayambala, Bwanika or Barya in a political race.
Having been convinced that the truth about Ssemujju’s intention is a grand rumour, I’ve made some consultations and come up with ways for him to authenticate the rumour without breaking a sweat.
But Ssemujju will have to pay back for all I spent visiting ancestral shrines on top of the colonial relic called the church. It was a painstaking effort.
The man in Idudi asked for the tail of a snail and three ears of a cockroach. Naturally, I protested.
“Jjaja, where will we get a snail with a tail? Does it even exist?” I said.
“Don’t worry, Hamidu here will help you [secure it],” he reassured, tapping the shoulders of a fisherman who was chewing a stick.
The Jjaja was more serious than Ssemujju appeared when insisting he meant business. So he briefed me: “We’ll row the boat twice deep into the lake. First at dawn to pay respects to the spirits when they are waking up. Then at dusk to ask for the favours. Everything you ask, you’ll receive.”
“But I can’t row a boat,” I said.
“Don’t worry, Hamidu here will do it.”
“I mean, I can never sit in a boat even if that was the only way to remove Museveni from power and wipe out racism from the face of earth.”
Now he looked at me quizzically, wagged his ears and blinked, wrinkles creasing around his eyes although he was himself not wrinkled. For accountability purposes to Ssemujju, Hamidu asked for Shs483k, insisting he would have to traverse wetlands in Namayingo to acquire the items. In Njeru, someone recommended his elder in Kaliro called Nsala Mbwa.
The peculiar name, apparently from rumours that…
“We’ve to wait for when a dog is giving birth,” a shrieking voice in the shrine started as cowries and other items chased one another in the pitch-dark room. “We’ve to secure the horn of its first puppy.”
“Dogs have no horns,” I interjected.
“You’re interrupting the spirits, you’ll pay a fine,” a guttural voice said.
I’m not sure I listened to the rest. When he opened the doors later, he said every dog gives birth to a horned puppy.
“Tsk-tsk-tsk! Seems you have never kept dogs,” he said, looking at me from head to toe like a Nigerian woman sizing up her suitor in those movies.
This time I didn’t want to interject.
“All dogs give birth to a horned puppy at their first birth,” he said. “Do you know why you never see them?”
I shook my head.
“Because the bitch eats up that horned puppy!” he laughed triumphantly at his own deduction. He said the trick is to find a first-time pregnant dog and be there like a nurse to snatch it as soon as it drops, flee for dear life.
“The dog will bite you… no, kill you if you can’t outrun it because it will want to eat that horned puppy.”
“Then?” I said.
“Ah, take one horn to wherever it is you want that job. I promise you everyone will be offering you their seats.”
Nsala Mbwa promised to get me the puppy horns at a fee. He asked for 700k.
Next stop was the colonial shrine – or what you call a church – in Wakitaka, Jinja. The pastor prayed and assured me it was possible as long as I was generous with tithe because “God gives to giving hands.”
Now, I’ve exceeded my word count before I even reveal the pastor’s advice to take Ssemujju to Rwakitura for blessings. Meanwhile, Hamidu beeps me every five seconds. The other day he called briefly asking me to call back and that he had secured the snail’s tail and cockroach ears. Nsala Mbwa also called about the puppy horns. If you believe these things, you very well believe Ssemujju and his plot.