By: JOSEPH MACHARIA
I made a triumphant return from my trip abroad that people of Mashambani could not help but organise a befitting party for me.
The homecoming bash was organised by the beautiful Wandia and my best friend and guide, Adenya. The two said it was not every day that a village has its own son travelling abroad.
I arrived at Mashambani around 11am after spending the night at Adenya’s house in Nairobi upon arrival.
Wakageorge, who now claims that he offers outside catering services, was contracted to host the party outside his Check Point Hotel.
Muchiri, exercising his powers as acting manager of Mkulima Mixed Farm, did not deliver the day’s milk to the cooperative that day so that the guests could have ‘special tea’ at the event.
Muchiri was quite quick with updates on what was happening at the farm while I was away. “The El Nino hit us so much that I had to use the money,” said Muchiri while trying to fit the new t-shirts I had bought him.
He was happy. I didn’t respond. I was feeling sick but Adenya told me it is called jet lag.
The homecoming party’s budget was simple. Adenya and Wandia had contributed some money to buy few sodas and doughnuts.
The local MP had donated some tents which were branded, “Mashambani CDF”. The tents were set closer to Check Point Hotel for easy access of the food and tea.
That afternoon, Check Point and its environs was a beehive of activities. The Master of Ceremony was surprisingly Ndege, my old cunning friend. He never misses such occasions. The programme started with prayers from the beautiful Wandia and another lady I could not recognise.
Mzee Kabeca, my able treasurer, welcomed the people to Mashambani, which he described as Canaan, the land that flows with milk and honey.
Everything went on well until Mzee Jeremiah was given the microphone to speak as an elder. He turned his speech into attacks on my leadership at the cooperative. Just to remind you, Mzee Jeremiah is the man I ousted from the chairmanship.
“As we celebrate, we need to think about the Swahili saying that mgema akisifiwa tembo hulitia maji,” he said.
“Our cooperative chairman, Mkulima here, has done well, but he has now gone beyond his terms of reference. He has now become like our MCAs who are trotting the globe for silly fact-finding missions.”
“Our money can’t be paying for aeroplanes every now and then. This cooperative cannot afford such non-essential travels,” he continued.
“You are just less than six months in office and you have started making trips abroad,” Mzee Jeremiah fired.
There were murmurs of disapproval from the crowd.
“But Mzee, Mkulima was fully sponsored,” Ndege said as he tried to grab the microphone from him.
“I was the chairman here for many years but there was nothing like sponsorship to foreign countries,” he pushed on.
“But Mzee, the wise say that the one who has not travelled thinks his mum is the best cook,” Wakageorge said in my support.
“You mean I am an old foolish man,” Mzee Jeremiah retorted angrily.
“No. I meant it’s good for Mkulima to travel and learn the best practices from others,” Wakageorge said. “This is the leader we have these days. Always travelling just to have some allowances and holidays,” added Mzee Jeremiah.
“In fact, we will now demand an audit of Mashambani Cooperative Society,” said Wagithomo, who lost the treasurer’s position in the last election.
“How come since some people became the chairman, all the visitors have been diverted to a certain farm,” said a man I could not recognise seated next to Wagithomo.
“But what did you do when you were the chairman of the cooperative?” asked Muchiri, coming to my defence.
“I don’t answer questions from farm boys,” said Mzee Jeremiah sarcastically.
“We are all equal here in Bunge la Mkulima,” said Muchiri referring to Check Point Hotel.
I could not believe that the two elderly men were concocting lies to malign my name.
“They even think the many visitors coming to my farm were supposed to have been visiting the Mashambani Cooperative office. This is ridiculous,” I thought.
“I will initiate a vote of no confidence against the current chairman,” said Mzee Jeremiah while walking away followed closely by his ally Wagithomo and the other man. I have to act immediately, watch this space.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION