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Monday, December 7, 2009

‘Young Minister’

When Mr Moneybags donated big at their wedding meeting,the awed recipients and onlookers were unprepared for what befell them shortly after, writes Dennis D. Muhumuza 

The guests arrived in dribs and drabs and by 6:30p.m the place was chock-full. But, the chairman of the wedding meeting kept saying, “We’re waiting for ‘Young Minister’.” There was excitement when the highly expected guest arrived.

The chairman and groom-to-be, in their shiny suits, jumped over the high table, knocking themselves in the process, as they scrambled to meet Young Minister. The groom-to-be was soon on his stomach lifting his head thrice like a lizard in obeisance to the “Honourable.”

“Ladies and gentleman,” the chairman rumbled, turning to the audience, “Stamp with zeal and clap with momentum as we welcome this most imperative person, the one and only, Sir, the Honourable Young Ministerrrrrrrr!!”

Deafening applause shook the ground on which the meeting was. Young Minister smiled broadly and waved to his “fans” pompously. Given a microphone and asked to introduce his guest, he cocked his voice, and gingerly pressed his arm upon her shoulder: “This here is my chick!” Then he laughed; a tooth and another sat here and there in his mouth, leaving much of his gums ubiquitously bare.

He was heavy, very dark and calloused; a prominent scar on his brow gleamed in the light, and that, coupled with his long and raucous laughter, gave him the look of some strange maniac in a horror film.

No one knew how old he was but there was visibly nothing young about Young Minister. It was said the label was drawn from his living sumptuously like a young minister. “He spins the latest Range Rover and frugality is unknown in his vocabulary,” gushed an associate of his. “If you want to see the real face of cash and hear its splash, Young Minister is the dude!”

Granted the honour of officially opening the wedding meeting, Young Minister pulled from his coat a tiny bottle of what he called “vintage liquid” and in perfunctory liberation, poured down “a little for the gods that bless us.” He proceeded to open his briefcase dexterously. It was brimming with bundled currencies of foreign genres that sparkled against his white suit! There were gasps of awe, for except in movies after the bad boys have successfully robbed a bank, never before had one seen so much money!

Turning to them, Young Minister said rather nonchalantly, “There were times when looking at this would flabbergast me too. Those hard times forced me to the bush. We suffered when we were fighting; we ate the food no human can eat, but my friends, now, no one can talk!”

He turned to the groom-to-be and patting him on the shoulder the way big daddy pats his grandson, continued, now magnanimously, “It’s good to associate with people that bring you up.” Long pause. “Life is short; comrades; that briefcase and its contents are all yours; go and organise a memorable wedding!”
The groom-to-be and his wife-to-be jumped up and down delighted like little children, and the ladies, pulled by the money magnet, were soon fawning all over Young Minister.

When the chairman rose again, it was only to pronounce in his rumbling voice that there was no need for more meetings because of the “more-than-enough generosity of the most imperative person on this auspicious evening; the man who spoke only the language of money, the one and only, Sir, the Honourable Young Minister!”

This time the noise of happiness reverberated even to the furthest corner of the city! The next day, it was on all the radio stations and on the front page of the Independent Daily the day after. The chairman and groom-to-be had been “arrested trying to exchange millions of counterfeit foreign currencies at Twit Forex Bureau.”

And Young Minister, er, Bogus Minister, was nowhere to be found!

--Sunday Monitor, December 6, 2009