Kalaki’s Korner – Action Man in Brussels [column]

I know you’re all waiting to hear the news of what I’ve been doing in Brussels, and how I am representing my country at the centre of power of the European Union. George Chellah is supposed to be giving you all the news on the ‘His Excellency’ page, but he hasn’t written anything for the past three days.

He went shopping with Christine on Saturday and I haven’t seen either of them since. Anyway, his stories are all fake, he just makes them up.

So I thought, as your Action Man, I should just do the job myself and tell you what’s going on here. All the members of my official delegation are completely useless. That’s why we got here three days to early, they got the dates mixed up. My press aide is particularly useless, even by the prevailing standards of uselessness. But don’t worry, despite all this, your Action Man has been very active, and will tell you what is happening.

I am staying at a seedy little hotel in the centre of Brussels, called the Hotel Plaza, which has its front door right on the pavement, with no garden, no carpark, nothing except a rather smelly carpet in the foyer. How can an entire president be accommodated in such a place?

And what is worse, the hotel is right next to the red light district. That’s why my security men disappeared on Saturday night and I haven’t seen them since. When I came down to breakfast this morning I was the only one in the dining room, apart from a disheveled travelling salesman from Malta and a family of Somalian refugees from Mogadishu. I know a lot about them because we are all sharing the same bathroom.

I had come to scale the Summit of European power, but have fallen into this fusty smelly boarding house. But never mind, despite all this, I am here to represent the power and energy of the Zambian government. Your Action Man is here to put Brussels to rights.

So I sat down and signaled a waiter to take my order for breakfast. He came over rather slowly and reluctantly and said ‘Yes, sir, is there a problem?’

So I said to the insolent fellow, I said ‘Yes, you useless lumpen, there are two problems. Firstly I am My Excellency and you should address me as Your Excellency. And secondly you’re supposed to ask me what I want for breakfast.’

‘I’m sorry there seems to be some mistake,’ he answered, ‘I am not much interested in what you want for breakfast. That is entirely a matter for you to decide.’

‘Look here,’ I shouted, ‘How can you bring me my breakfast if you don’t know what I want?’

‘I’m sorry there seems to be some mistake,’ he repeated like a robot. ‘There is a selection of food on that long table over there and all you have to do is to go and select some for yourself. Here in Belgium we call it a buffet.’

‘What an insult to a person of my position!’ I shouted. ‘I am His Excellency, bring my breakfast!’

‘There seems to be some mistake,’ repeated the robot, ‘I only bring food in the case of physical disability or mental impairment. Do you have a medical certificate?’

‘Insolence!’ I shouted. ‘I’ve heard enough! I demand to see the Head Waiter!’

‘I am the Head Waiter,’ replied the robot.

‘Then bring me the Hotel Manager!’ I demanded.

‘I am also the Hotel Manager,’ he replied. ‘This is a small hotel.’

This was when your Action Man swung into action, and spoke for the national interest. I marched straight down to the foyer to make some important announcements, as a small crowd gathered to watch a real Excellency taking command of a crisis situation.

‘The staff of this hotel are all useless. The waiter is useless. The Head waiter is useless. And the Hotel Manager is completely useless. They are all fired with immediate effect. In order to honour my promises to the people of Zambia to provide employment, the waiter will be replaced by twenty-five kaponya from Chawama.

The government will set up a new Waiter Training College in Amsterdam to ensure proper training. I am hereby ordering my Minister of Finance to find the funds for a new road from Amsterdam to Brussels to facilitate travel from the college to the hotel.

The Permanent Secretary of Muchinga Province is with immediate effect transferred to the Plaza Hotel as Managing Director, to be assisted by the entire PF provincial committee of Muchinga, who are all appointed Senior Hotel Managers. And just as the Congo was once a province of Belgium, I hereby declare that Brussels is now a province of Muchinga… ‘

But as I was busy correcting the situation, into the foyer waltzed Christine and George. ‘What on Earth is this meeting all about?’ asked Christine.

‘I’m just preparing for the Summit by first sorting out this hotel,’ I explained.

‘I’ve just heard the Summit has been cancelled,’ said Christine. ‘Your friend Mugabe organized a boycott, nobody else is coming.’

‘Ha ha,’ I laughed, ‘nice try. But I had already noticed that today is April 1st!’

Source: Kalaki’s Korner

Source : Zambia Reports

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