Why it never pays to have a girl whose husband is friend of a cop

17Jun 2016
Richard Mngazija
The Guardian
Missing Link
Why it never pays to have a girl whose husband is friend of a cop

Godfrey:(staring into an empty glass and tapping his finger nails on the table) You are late!

A bar in Keko

Godfrey:(staring into an empty glass and tapping his finger nails on the table) You are late!
Richard: It is a long way to this place from my home. Why have you made me come all this way across the city.
Godfrey: I have a secret!
Richard:(yawning) Another secret. Every week you have a secret. Last week you were a member of Chadema! What is it this week? Are you the new James Bond? Have you joined MI6?
Godfrey: I wish! If only I could do what 007 does. Kiss the girls and shoot the baddies! Real life isn’t so simple..
Richard: And why is your glass empty? Why are your lips dry? Are you ill? Should I be taking you to the Muhimbili?
Godfrey:(shivers) I am not ill. Yes, my glass is empty. It is empty for a reason.
Richard: Because you have already drunk your fill? Or maybe we should move? This waterhole is not to your liking?
Godfrey: No, I like it well enough. And my throat is still parched.
Richard:(calls the barmaid) A beer for my friend ( He pauses) And one for me.
Godfrey: You are a true friend. Now you will be asking yourself why I have asked you to meet me here in Keko.
Richard: It is true. I have been asking myself this question ever since you called me.
Godfrey:(looking at his watch) Three hours ago. I have been sitting here for three hours now with just enough money to buy myself one beer. Do you know how humiliating that is?
Richard:(shaking his head) Tell me.
Godfrey: (raising his glass and draining his beer) I will, but first I must have another. My throat is parched.
Richard: (nodding to the barmaid) Well, the suspense is killing me. Tell me why you wanted me to cross the city and meet you in Keko. No let me guess. (He looks around) Were you…yes, were you testing out DART?
Godfrey: Ha ha! That’s so typical of you, rafiki yangu, you always laugh in the face of my troubles.
Richard: So why have you been sitting here for three hours without even two drinks to pour down your throat?
Godfrey: For the simple reason that I have no money.
Richard: You have no money. But you were paid only last week. Have you spent it all on your girlfriend?
Godfrey: (making a face) She has left me. She has gone back to her husband.
Richard:So you are here in hiding?
Godfrey: You could say that.
Richard: You mean he is after your blood?
Godfrey: No, it is worse than that.
Richard: Then he is after your money?
Godfrey:(looking around) He is (he lowers his voice) after … (he hesitates) he wants rushwa.
Richard: Rushwa! Kitu kidogo!
Godfrey:(looking around and putting his finger to his lips) Not too loud.
Richard: You mean he is here.
Godfrey: (shaking his head)
Richard: How much?
Godfrey: 500,000/-.
Richard: To your girlfriend’s husband?
Godfrey: (shaking his head) No, not to him.
Richard: Then who?
Godfrey: (nudges Richard with his elbow)
Richard: What are you poking me for?
Godfrey: I am not poking you. I am trying to tell you something.
Richard: Then use your mouth, not your elbow.
Godfrey: I am trying to tell you that I have to give the 500,000/- to him.
Richard: Who?
Godfrey:(whispers) The man across there. (He points to the man sitting alone at a table next to the bar).
Richard: The policeman.
Richard: He is the one you must pay rushwa?
Godfrey: (nods)
Godfrey: I got into a bit of trouble.
Richard: What sort of trouble?
Godfrey: Secret trouble.
Richard: And you are going to tell me?
Godfrey: I need your help.
Richard: But you have already agreed kitu kidogo.
Godfrey: That is true.
Richard; So what is the problem?
Godfrey: My pockets are the problem.
Richard: Your pockets?
Godfrey: Yes, my pockets are empty.
Richard: And you need me to fill them?
Godfrey: You are very smart.
Richard: But I have no money. Why would I come all this way with 500,000/- burning a hole in my pocket?
Godfrey: You can write him an IOU (I Owe You).
Richard: (patting his jacket pockets) Alas, I have no pen. Look, tell me what you did to cost yourself 500,000/-.
Godfrey: The usual story. I was driving home. I had a few beers. I was stopped at a red light in town.
Richard: Which red light?
Godfrey: Does it matter? (pauses) The one by the bridge.
Richard: They always stop you there.
Godfrey: Anyway, I was stopped, and they tried to take me into the station.
Richard: Tried?
Godfrey: I am a proud Maasai. What do you expect me to do, go along on my knees?
Richard: So they took you to the station.
Godfrey: (Proudly) It took four of them. They weren’t happy at all. They were watching TV.
Richard: And then what happened?
Godfrey: I ended up here.
Richard: In this bar?
Godfrey: No, you fool, in Keko.
Richard: So you spent a night over the road?
Godfrey: Yes, and my wife will think I am with my girlfriend and all the time I have been locked up in a stinking cell with a machinga boy for company.
Richard:A machinga boy?
Godfrey: Yes, he kept me awake all night clicking his coins.
Richard: What had he done?
Godfrey: He was arrested for walking in a DART lane.
Richard: So you have to pay them to get out?
Godfrey: No,not at all. I have to pay them to keep quiet.
Richard: You mean ( half turning towards the man at the bar table) that the man over there isn’t a cop?
Godfrey: Of course he isn’t a cop.
Richard: Then who is he?
Godfrey: He’s a friend of a cop.
Richard: So why did you say he was a cop?
Godfrey: Does it matter who or what he is? We live in a small town.
Richard: So?
Godfrey: Well, everyone knows your business. When I cough in the morning, the entire street hears it.
Richard: I still don’t follow you.
Godfrey:(takes a pen and paper out of his pocket) Look, don’t think. Just sign this paper and hand it to that man. And then we can go home.
Richard: (scratching his head) Dar es Salaam! These things happen.