How brilliant plan to distribute branded face masks flopped

Monday, April 6th, 2020 00:00 |
Coronavirus scare.

MCA Gwinso

The reason our Assembly Speaker gave for excluding me from the special sitting last week was unconvincing.

While it is true the House could not accommodate all of us given the social distancing requirement, I didn’t understand why I had to be among those left out. 

I sought to find out who else was excluded and was not surprised to learn my buddy, MCA Chonjo, was one of them.

You should know the Speaker has never had a soft spot for Chonjo and me from the day we tried to initiate an impeachment motion against him.

I called my friend to compare notes. “The Speaker is just being mean. He does not want us to get the allowances for that day,” Chonjo grumbled. 

We continued to make more unsavoury remarks about our mutual foe, and vowed to attend the sitting with or without his invitation.

We also agreed to revive the impeachment motion once normal full-house sittings resume.

Kwanza we shall use the mask tender issue to bring him down,” said Chonjo.

“Which mask tender?” I asked.

“Gwinso, kwani your ears are in self-quarantine? You have not heard his wife’s company got the tender to supply masks in all the county offices?”

I was baffled. I had never imagined anybody in their right mind would think of taking advantage of the current situation to make money.

But Chonjo’s revelation opened my eyes, and an idea was birthed in my mind: Why not buy masks in bulk and distribute them in my ward? I shared my gem of an idea with Chonjo.

“Bw Gwinso, I have always suspected you are a genius, but today I have confirmed it,” he said excitedly. “That is a very clever idea. We will kill two stones with one bird (sic), help our people and increase our popularity,” he said and laughed. 

He then continued to say he knew someone who would sell us the masks at a throwaway price. 

As we continued planning, the bright idea gave birth to an even brighter one: Have the masks branded. Yes! Have our names printed on each.

“Not just names, let’s have our portraits, too,” suggested Chonjo. The thought of people walking around in masks bearing my name and image fired my imagination.

My name would be on people’s lips, literally! I made up my mind to spare no resources for the task. Chonjo too vowed to flood his ward with this protective wear.

“Bwana Gwinso, we better act fast. If you have the money, send it over so that we can order for the masks,” said my colleague.

We then agreed not to bother to crash into the special sitting at the Assembly, now that we had our eyes set on nobler things. 

Trust Chonjo to work with speed when resources are availed. A day after I sent him some money, he called to say the masks had already been delivered. He asked for the words I wanted printed in the masks for my ward.

“What will you write on yours?” I asked.

“Kindly donated by MCA Chonjo,” came the reply. I found that rather plain, and said mine should be printed, ‘Pumua Fresh na MCA Gwinso’. I sent him the photo I wanted emblazoned on the masks.

In a record one day, the masks had been branded. Now came the difficult task of distributing them without causing crowding. We tried to brainstorm on various ways but dismissed them as unworkable. 

“Bwana Gwinso, let us sleep over the matter. By tomorrow, we shall have come up with a way,” said Chonjo.

That evening, when I heard the outcome of the special sitting at the Assembly, my heart sank.

The county government had set aside funds to buy enough masks for each person in the county, and these would be distributed free of charge. 

I immediately took my phone and dialled Chonjo’s number. I wanted to ask what we were to do with our cargo. My calls, however, went unanswered. To this time, the man is still unreachable.

I intend to go to his place and find out what is happening – if Mama Hirohito allows me to leave the house. Haki nikubaya! [email protected]

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