Nbada Sibanda‘s short story: Friendly wars

Ever since his appointment to the lofty position of defence minister, he seemed to be gripped by some phobia. Some residents claimed the irrational fear stemmed from the possibility that he did not know what he was expected to do. Others thought that he was a lucky coward who found himself having to oversee a strategic security portfolio which he did not deserve or understand.

Mr. Gubuzela `s political history was not well-known in the country except for the controversial claims he made each time he had an opportunity about his heroic past during the liberation war. Not only were the citizens unconvinced about his war liberation credentials , they were also sceptical of his ability to turn around the national army into a truly professional , patriotic and non-partisan force that could be the envy of the region, if not the continent . It had committed untold atrocities in the country and beyond national boundaries.

He was once labelled a “Wild Useless Claimant” by a no-nonsense newspaper when he claimed that all the country`s political and economic woes were visited upon the nation by the “stubborn” opposition leaders, the ruling party`s detractors and their Western allies. What was a known fact was that he was a shameless bootlicker who heaped praises upon the ruining leadership with sickening frequency and subservience. It was no secret that was a Grade Two primary school dropout who had endeared himself to the leadership by worshipping them at every rally or meeting , and terrorising any soul who challenged the big wig`s bigotry and destructive policies at every conceivable corner.

Then one day one foreign journalist decided to ask him one general question. “Sir, please shed light on what you are doing or intend doing as minister of defence to keep soldiers fit?”

He was clad in his civilian clothes in the form of dazzling yellow socks, white shoes, a red pair of baggy trousers, a green T-shirt, and a dark and blue, deeply cupped hat that seemed to bury his head and obstruct his view of the world. With exaggerated steadiness, he cleared his throat and said, “Soon l will start some friendly wars with neighbouring countries”.

Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, As If They Minded:The Loudness Of Whispers, This Cannot Be Happening :Speaking Truth To Power, The Dangers  Of Child Marriages:Billions Of Dollars Lost In Earnings And Human Capital, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy.  Sibanda’s work has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Some of his work has been translated into Serbian.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s