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Saturday, 9 November 2013



Having heard so many things - both good and bad - about the people of the Kingdom of Zamaradan and their dear nation, I set out to go and see things for myself, in the light of my being an investigative writer.

Our plane touched down at the Mill Mascara International Airport, which is located in the Kingdom's largest city called Ellwood by exactly 4.00 hours GMT.

Stepping out of the plane I was greeted by a gush of warm air, the kind that reminded me of my days covering the Janjaweed crisis in north Africa. I leisurely walked to the arrival hall, which looked every inch a third world facility as much as the entire airport itself. And while waiting for my luggage I braced up, expecting the electricity to go off any moment, for I have been warned beforehand of such eventuality. Somehow though, it didn't happen.

My fears about certain things I heard about Zamaradan began to unfold right there at the airport.

As I made my way through customs and immigration I kept being bothered by the same irritable demands: "Sir, anything for us?"; "Sir, what can we get?"; "Welcome sir, your boys are loyal, sir!"

At every point at the airport you see unhappy faces working half-heartedly with all the spirit of selfless commitment apparently gone. You could even figure out that everyone was just there to get whatever they could grab. So much emptiness and frustration hanging in the eery air.

My cab driver, a nice gentleman who told me his name was Taramo Allemy let me off at the Halloway Luxury Hotel, about 4 miles from the airport. At least the hotel was clean and truly luxurious as indicated in their website. I settled in, took a warm bath, and headed to one of their restaurants that serves their local cuisine. I enjoyed a meal of grilled fish garnished with chilli and sweet pepper, and then some veggies. For dessert I had a little bowl of thick yogurt. But I noticed there was some engine sound gently coming into the restaurant, and I asked one of the waiters what that was. He said "It's generator noise, sir" in a thick native accent. Seeing my puzzled look, he added that "The power company has taken light since morning, that's why we are running on generator."

I then remembered I was briefed by a friend who has lived in that kingdom for about 13 years that because of the massive corruption in almost every sector of Zamaradan the electricity infrastructure has almost collapsed, and because of that most people who can afford it power their homes or businesses with generators. The huge kingdom appears to be a profitable enclave for the notorious generator Mafia known to target such corrupt third world territories and their rulers.

As I made my way back to my suite I heard a soft female voice say "Excuse me, sir!"

I turned to see who that was, and it was a young beautiful looking girl. Puzzled, I asked, "Yes, what can I do for you?"

"I am young, and hot" she said, using her hands to push forward her breasts seductively as she spoke. "You will like me after we're done", she added.

I stood there dumbfounded, and irritated at how such a hotel could allow tramps to constitute such nuisance to their clients. I knew it was unethical in hotel business.

As I angrily turned to make my way towards the reception desk to express my displeasure, the young girl said gently, "Sir, I know you're surprised and angry, but this is how we hustle to make ends meet."

And then I was struck by the innocence in her voice, and I somehow sensed she was an intelligent young woman. So I asked her, "What do you mean by hustle?"

"I am a university student. I study law, but we are currently not in school because our teachers have been on strike for some months now. And, considering that my father is dead, and my mother can barely take care of the family I chose to do this to augment the family's income" she said in an almost choked voice with tears now streaming down her cheeks. Then I knew she wasn't any of those hardened professional prostitutes. Those ones could probably shed a tear only at gunpoint.

I felt compassion welling up inside me. So I led her to the lounge, and she told me the story of her family, her community, her school, and about Zamaradan and its corrupt rulers. I counselled her as best as I could, and then helped her with some cash that was on me at that moment. But before she left I asked her name, to which she said "My name is Charisa Phillip" in a shy tone.

But what saddened me greatly was her answer when I asked whether there were children of any of the rulers of Zamaradan in her school. She said to me "Sir, all their children are studying abroad, though there are few of them whose children are in the universities set up by churches here in Zamaradan. But even the church universities are expensive, almost the cost of going to school overseas!"

I shuddered at this apparently unfair stratification of that Kingdom.

Feeling depressed and angry at such unjust system spawned by elite greed and corruption, that night, through the bedside window of my hotel suite I saw some men moving up and down the neighbourhood of the hotel. They were holding flashlights and what seemed like some metallic objects. I could barely tell because there wasn't much light where they were. So in the morning I told the hotel manager my observation, but he smiled and said "They are the security vigilante of this area."

I asked him what he meant by that, and he said "Well, the security challenges in Zamaradan are enormous, and the police are too pre-occupied providing security for our rulers and their families and friends. As a result people resorted to organising themselves as security for their given territories in the night."

I felt sad.

I went round the city that day making note of what I was told earlier back home about the Kingdom, which formed my decision to visit the Kingdom of Zamaradan. I noted that most houses were providing water for themselves just as they provide electricity for themselves. The roads were filled with potholes and craters. Out of curiosity I made my way to one of the government owned hospitals, and there I was told the doctors were on strike. But I didn't fail to notice the shabby and dilapidated structures and equipment there.

I tried my best to interact with quite a number of people, and I asked them questions about some of the things I saw. I pointed out whether what I saw was the same in other cities in Zamaradan, and I was told it was even worse in some other cities, and worst in villages and counties!

I shuddered at the thought of how a Kingdom as rich and wealthy as Zamaradan could not be fair to her people!

I took special note of the following:

1. The people organize to provide security for themselves

2. The people (majority) provide water for themselves

3. The people provide electricity for themselves

4. The people provide health care for themselves

5. The people are left on their own as far as education is concerned

6. Jobs are scarcely available

7. The roads are majorly awful and terrible

8. General decay of public infrastructure

9. An overwhelming sense of frustration and unhappiness among most of the people as could be seen on their faces at a glance

I observed that these negative conditions alone were enough to turn that Kingdom into an insecure place to live and do business in. There is very little impact of government in the lives of the people. They live like sheep without shepherd in a desert wasteland.

To be sure of the widespread of this hellish living condition, I moved to another city northwards named Laville some 7 hours drive by bus from Ellwood. In transit I noted the villages and counties, and I saw they were really living terrible lives. As far as I could see there were no infrastructure that could ease their lives.

Up in Laville city, the days I spent there gave me all the proof I needed that the people of the Kingdom of Zamaradan are living as captives to some first century cruel slave masters! Too few people have cornered the wealth, and means of wealth production in the Kingdom, and, as if in some conspiracy, they only revolve opportunities among themselves.

Up in the air, as I departed Zamaradan, and as I pondered over the strange beggarly life the people there live, a particular sentence kept swimming in my mind.

I remember asking Charisa Phillip about what she thought the solution to Zamaradan's problems could be, and she said "Sir, we are waiting for God to change our nation for good!"

The sentence swimming in my mind was that answer by Charisa: "Sir, we are waiting for God...."

Waiting for God?

Hmmm, yes, it's good to wait for God's move. But then, I happen to know that if God makes a move He uses people in the same locality to accomplish the changes they want. He never will use outsiders.

And then I remembered how He used a revolutionary named Jehu in bible times in such kind of unjust situation.

The kind of problems bedeviling the Kingdom of Zamaradan require only a Jehu, for while I was there a financial scandal blew open in which a top female public official with very close links with the Kingdom's ruler squandered an extraordinarily huge sum on cars, which, in itself, was only a tip of the iceberg of the kind of monumental corruption in the place. Chances were nothing could happen to the woman, because her case could be swept under the carpet like many others before hers. As a matter of fact, the Kingdom's ruler travelled overseas with the woman as soon as the scandal blew open, which made someone to jocularly tell me that Zamaradan has the largest and thickest carpet in the world that swallows all manner of debris without wearing out.

Also while there I saw how the Kingdom's ruler was using the Kingdom's police department as his personal property to fight his selfish political wars. The sticking point was how he dispatched them to stop some provincial rulers from holding political meetings in the official residence of one of them, for, as I gathered, the ruler considers any political meeting against his interest as anathema, and I had the sense to note that if pushed further, the shallow thinking ruler of Zamaradan could even topple the Kingdom to establish himself as Maximum Ruler! It seems he considers his personal interests as synonymous with those of the Kingdom. Throughout history this line of thought has been the driving force behind evil dictators and emperors. Emperors and evil dictators see themselves as the State and nothing less.

I discussed within me that the ruler may be suffering from a deep sense of inferiority complex, and such people often feel insecure. And that's what makes them very dangerous!

In echo of my thoughts and opinions of him, I also gathered how he was considering decreeing that no other politician in the Kingdom would fly in an aircraft, for while I was there I recorded incidences whereby aircrafts that were to carry opposition politicians were grounded, and in some instances the Kingdom's air space was shut in the name of the ruler's tempestuous wife for several hours just to frustrate the movement of some opposition personalities. That's just a little bit of how dangerous such insecure persons could be!

So I asked God to send a Jehu to their rescue....

And, ah! I think I can see him galloping on his horse to the palace of king Ahab and queen Jezebel.....


Cham Faliya Sharon

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