The Chief Mourner had just returned from the funeral of the venerable Nelson Mandela. Together with Magede si Wandale and the Wise One from The East, we tried to find comfort at the bottom of the masese gourd, but only succeeded in bringing to sharp focus some of the things that the old African patriarch represented.

The fact that Amai had spoken at the funeral in stead of the Chief Mourner, and that her speech had been received with nothing less than a standing ovation, should have cheered us up a great deal. If fact, it almost did exactly that when Magede si wandale reminisced about it. But it was only for a brief moment, for standing next to the Wise One from the East, Abiti Naliyera, who often at the bawo club only minds her own business suddenly stood up. Her slight stagger and the bibida glass she was holding suggested that she was perhaps a bit tipsy. But there was nothing tipsy about the fierce rebuke that she directed at Magede Si Wandale.

“Have we now here at the Bawo club sunk so low as to start cheering mediocrity and hypocrisy?” Abiti Naliyera said suddenly.” “That speech was the most narcissistic and hypocritical speech ever delivered under the pretence of a funeral eulogy. The much-touted speech lasted 12 minutes. The first five minutes was nothing but ME MYSELF and I; as usual: I’m forgiving (love me). I suffered, I was insulted and I was almost killed (seriously)- so feel sorry for me.

“Never mind I can sink so low to use Madiba’s funeral to tell the whole world of my suffering and forgiving heart – never mind I arrested and I’m prosecuting and persecuting all those that I believe wanted to take me down. Never mind I insult as well as well send my stooges to insult others for criticising me. Never mind the so-called love I have for the people is so embroiled in self-interest.

“Look at Malawi you will see what I mean!” Abiti Naliyera wanted no interruption. “How can any self respecting person use Madiba’s funeral to advance their own selfish political agenda?!! Seriously? Shamelessly? Now the rest of you can keep praising the speech, it’s your democratic right. But as for me, I piss my feministic pee on it. I condemn it. I despise it the way a cat despises its own poo!”

Totally stunned, the Wise One From the East almost involuntarily found himself clapping his wise hands in applause to Abiti Naliyera. Suddenly the whole bawo club, eyes opened as to how manipulative Amai had indeed been with her “I am a victim” speech, gave Abiti Naliyera the Bawo club version of a standing ovation, which consists of clapping and cheering for a few minutes, while a whole mbiya of Abiti Mwenye’s legendary sour brew is presented to the hero of the moment.

It was at this point that Gogo Sinsamala appeared and took the Chief Mourner aside. There were more issues to be documented and he wasted no time in informing the Chief Mourner of this.

“Are you aware that Laughter Kambala has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree?” he asked abruptly.

The Chief Mourner admitted that he had heard of the mysterious award, and that along with most of the legal practitioners in the country, he had questioned how any institution worth its salt could award a criminal suspect with a list of skeletons in his closet as long as Amai’s shoulder sashes and whose suits had become the standard of poor style on the common, such an honourable accolade. Indeed, many had wondered as to who could ever make a recommendation to any institution for Kambala to be awarded such a distinction.

“There is more to it than meets the eye.” Gogo Sinsamala explained curtly. “It is a tactic aimed at deflating and unsettling Amai. As you know, ever since she organized to be awarded an honorary doctorate in economics by that obscure Korean Polytechnic, Amai has been prancing about with the underserved title, adding it to her name and claiming that in spite of the bankruptcy that she is causing the country through her looting and all this cashgate business, she can still in her capacity as doctor call it a breakthrough. Kambala has figured out that Amai is in awe of educated people and especially afraid of PhDs. This is why she has tried so hard to count herself among their number with this stupid honorary degree. And remember, in spite of his many sins, Kambala has some achievements and is at least qualified in the field of law.”

From his pocket, Gogo Sinsamala produced a document. “You see this?” he showed it to the Chief Mourner. “That’s a copy of the recommendation to award Laughter Kambala the Doctor of Laws degree. You will notice that it was filled by none other than Wapana Kitwe!

“Apparently, the whole plan was hatched by dim-witted Kitwe, who at the time thought it would bring Kambala a tactical advantage in his ongoing battles with Amai. But the scheme has backfired and it is this issue that has led to the departure of thick Kitwe from Kambala’s law firm. The idiocy of Kitwe’s scheme was recognized when the legal fraternity in the country all started questioning why Kambala, a well qualified and intelligent enough lawyer would need an honorary degree in stead of just reading for one. He is a distinguished Notre Dame Scholar, mind you!” remarked Gogo Sinsamala.

Suddenly realizing that Kitwe’s honorary PhD tactic was as idiotic as High Court Judge Chambo’s bail that never was, Kambala was furious with Kitwe and immediately informed him that it would be better if the two of them distanced themselves from each other permanently. Hence as you probably have heard, Kitwe, thick and daft as he is, has now opened his own law firm!”

The Chief Mourner was rather taken aback with this revelation. “But what’s this you say about High Court Judge Chambo?” He wanted to know.

“That is a legal mystery that will confound our legal experts for a long time. Justice Chambo somehow, inexplicably managed to give Laughter Kambala bail, and then keep him locked up at the same time. Some say it is because she had been bribed to make this confusing ruling. Others say she had received death threats from Amai’s chief Henchman, Policeman Iphani.

But I know that the reason is much more complicated than that: in fact, Judge Chambo’s husband had borrowed one of Laughter Kambala’s suits, and needed it for a Pakhomo Pamanu fundraising dinner, hence she could not allow Kambala to be released on Bail as he would end up getting his suit back before the dinner date had come.”

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