Who stole Balyeku’s Christmas meat?

Sunday January 24 2021
pp05pix
By Jacobs Odongo Seaman

Balyeku lost the Jinja South-West seat. The NRM man was beaten by FDC’s Batuwa. Like many other incumbents, especially the popular – or call it unpopular – lot, Balyeku will need a lot of introspection, reflection and inquest into the wind that swept him off the political platform.
 

At Mpumudde Market – whose central stalls are ironically “sponsored by Hon Moses Balyeku” – omweso mathematicians seem to have done their tallying and arrived at a conclusion on what befell Balyeku.
“Balyeku alidhe kirisimasi lya’iffe,” said a heavily mustachioed man whose distended tummy was fighting for space on the bench with his buttocks.

Given how good these guys are at tallying those tiny black seeds, I doubt Balyeku would even cry foul. I’m sure Justice Byabakama would envy them. There would be no need to quash results from 12,000 polling stations if the omweso mathematicians did the tallying last week.

“Balyeku has eaten our Christmas.” That is what the ‘tummy-ed’ man had said.
Every Christmas, Easter, Eid and whatever other public holiday that brings out the true African in us and compel us to treasure meat, rice, soda and such things, Balyeku delivered a kilo or so of meat to households.

Sometimes it came with sugar, or rice or both. The residents had apparently taken it for granted. They expected it as a right. It was being given by Balyeku’s grace (never mind the pun) but to the people, it was theirs.

But something happened last Christmas that came at an opportune time for vote bribe to be disguised as gifts. Many waited for the beef and rice and sugar but nothing came of it. This was very strange. Even in non-political times, Balyeku delivered for the people “their” meat so why not a Kirisimasi preceding the election by just 20 days?

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It was while they were frustrated and tired of waiting that something came through. Rice and sugar in the legendary transparent buveera. In the packages were one candidate’s pocket-size posters. Needless to guess, those who were counting on Balyeku’s Christmas meat and rice, three weeks later, voted with their stomachs; stomachs filled with rice and sugar.

The thing is that Balyeku’s name itself is also problematic. “Let them also eat,” it loosely translates. This is where even those who cannot tell two-plus-two become experts. Drawing conclusions that the man whose name speaks for itself had eaten “their” Christmas became swift. And this translated into votes.

Now, the detective in me tried to snoop around. Thing is, Balyeku apparently released the people’s Christmas entitlement but either the agents he had in his camp were not loyal enough or they used his name, Balyeku, to their advantage.
It was their turn to eat. They simply vanished with what they received, gave out a little to friends and relatives and stomached the rest. ‘Balidhe.’ They had eaten.

“I’m convinced the agents who picked the Christmas meat and rice meant for voters were those from the enemy camp,” said Josephat, a boda operator.
“How can they vanish with all the items just like that? They cost us votes!”
His friend, Ngobi, agreed.

“My sixth sense never lies to me and right now it tells me that the same rice and sugar purchased for the people was distributed,” Ngobi said.
“There was money too. These guys signed for money from office but we’re hearing that they kept it to themselves instead of sharing with the voters.”
Well, these things might be true but, sadly, Balyeku can’t demand for accountability now. He has lost. He has been eaten. And he might never know who ate his Christmas meat.

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