Chapter Six (Pg. 82-99)
Comrade Melusi joins ADGA
It’s in Banjul, Gambia, the congregation venue for the summit. The summit kicks off. Being the first day of the summit, the most important event of the day is the official opening of the summit. Key participants are the 50 heads of state.
Security at the venue is very tight. Comrade Ngobile Melusi waited in a line to be cleared, His turn finally comes. He is found with a needle, one of the many things disallowed into the hall. There is an argument between Comrade Melusi and the security officer but later on, he is cleared and allowed into the hall.
In the meantime, in a flashback, more details about Comrade Ngobile Melusi are divulged. Comrade Melusi is having lunch with his visitor at Chaminuka restaurant in downtown, Harare. It’s about 1:30 PM; the restaurant is empty except for the two: Comrade Melusi and his visitor. The Zimbabweans did not eat in hotels anymore unless as now someone else was footing the bill. Their economy had crushed.
Lunch was the visitor’s idea. There was a subject he wanted to discuss, he had told Melusi. His name is Tad Longway, a Director Special Projects at AGDA: Agency for Governance and Development in Africa.
The leader of Zimbabwe and Comrade Melusi had fought Smith side by side for years and that is why he used to call him comrade. Then Zimbabwe got her independence. A new national anthem was sang: in English, Blessed be the land of Zimbabwe,then in Shona, the language of Zimbabwe’s largest ethnic group:
Simudzaimureza weZimbabwe. In Ndebele (Melusi’s mother tongue): Kalibusisweilizwe leZimbabwe, national motto was “unity, freedom and work.”
After all these, the new ruler did not appoint Comrade Melusi a minister after fighting for Zimbabwe together. The ruler, a Shona, threw Melusi, a Ndebele out of government and he now deemed Melusi an opponent.
The leader of Melusi’s group was sacked. When these news hit southern Zimbabwe where the Ndebele live, anti-government riots erupted. People went on rampage and attacked every government supporter foolish enough to come to their sight. Retribution against them followed.
There swooped in the area the fifth brigade, better known as GUKURUHUNDI, Shona word for year’s rainstorm that washes chaff off the fields so that soil tilling could start. It washed off the Ndebele insurgents like chaff. All this happened while Melusi was still at work, in a business office down town Bulawayo, the capital of Ndebele.
Comrade Melusi’s wife, Ziliza, was one of those killed in the government’s execution. The ruler, a Shona, could not trust anybody away from his Shona tribesmen. To him, all Ndebeles, Melusi included had become rivals. The man had changed according to Melusi because he wanted to be life president.
Meanwhile, Comrade Melusi takes the visitor to Muponda restaurant at the northern edge of Harare for he had asked for traditional food.
Melusi initiated an opposition group: The New Independence Party (NIP) and ran for president just to irritate the ruler. The ruler got 99% of the votes while Melusi and all other candidates shared the 1% in the elections.
Elections had been preceded by a drought, thc worst of the time until the ruler declared it a national disaster. Moreover, the international community clamped on Zimbabwe a program called Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) with this they knew the ruler would flop for everything spelt defeat, so his win was through rigging elections.
Opposition leaders refused to unite and fight the common enemy. When they all lost, for half an hour they necdcd to
declare that elections were a sham, they had to come together. Joint condemnation of the bungled elections led to disaffection. So Melusi went back to his business.
Inflation eroded incomes. Melusi relocated to a slum in a poor part of Harare. Then came Murambatsvina, Shona word for trash. Bull dozers went from one slum to the next evicting residents by tearing their homes to the ground.
All including Comrade Melusi were expelled without notice. Murambatsvina’s real aim to the ruler was to prevent disease and crime. Instead, disease and crime increased. It is true the main aim was to punish the urban poor for supporting opposition parties.
Tad Longway cleared the hotel bill and reached out to his side pocket for another stack of American dollars and handed it to Comrade Melusi. Thereafter, he handed a document titled Path Alpha to him and told him that it contained the subject matter hewanted them to discuss i.e. mobilizing discontent with Africa in its present state into will to change it.
Tad Longway asks Comrade Melusi if he would join the movement.
GUIDE OF THE FATHERS OF THE NATIONS
Chapter Seven (Pg. 100-104)
Before the Summit
Before the summit begins, the host thinks he should break the ice by going from guest to guest to create rapport.
He first goes to the president of Nigeria because of what was discovered later on as the poles of influence: pure power,
technology, simple alliances with one or more of the other poles and sheer obstinacy. He shares light moments with the seventy- year-old, a full general but now retired. Pastor Chiamaka sits in a back row among the observers following the summit keenly and quietly.
The host president then moves to the president of South Africa then to the president of Kenya for he knew the strategic importance of associating with these two countries after Nigeria.
Prof. Kimani is in the hall watching the president of Kenya at the back of the hall. From here, he moves to greet the Zimbabwean president. In equal measure Comrade Melusi, now scowling at the man from a seat in a row back hates his president intensely.
Later, guided by the pole of influence that where everybody exercises powers within agreed rules, the simple refusal to abide by those rules exalts one as influential. The leader of Libya is good at this. On this account, the Gambian president (host) goes to greet the president of Libya. Engineer Tahir looks on uninterested. Engineer Tahir studies him from the back of the hall. Once he had been one of the man’s greatest admirers, not any more.
GUIDE OF THE FATHERS OF THE NATIONS
Chapter Eight (Pg.105-116)
The arrest of Pastor Chineke Chiamaka
In a flashback, the chapter introduces a reckless driver. The reckless driver is Chineke Chiamaka. Most people hated him for this carclcss and reckless driving except for one person; his brother Obinna an evening student at the University of Lagos. Chineke Chiamaka adores Lagos.
One evening after dropping off his younger brother Obinna, Chineke Chiamaka was to drive to his office at Earth Movers Limited. Unfortunately, by taking the route he chose, he drove into trouble: Holy Camp.
Chiamaka drove against the flowing current of vehicles and rammed into a mean machine; a fire engine, massive and unstoppable. His Mercedes flew off the road and spun in the air several times before landing on the road again.
He escaped without serious injuries. The fire engine was nowhere. Not a single motorist stopped to check on him. That was the norm in Nigeria. Motorists never stopped at an accident scene on Nigerian highways. Because of the many miracles he had witnessed, he turned to religion-he became a preacher. Chiamaka with time acquired preaching skills. He preached everywhere.
One Sunday he gave a very powerful preaching captioned, “God is watching you.” The sermon was excellent. It was witty and persuasive. The sermon for the following Sunday was totally opposite: combative. He preached about the government’s failure to deal with the issues bedeviling her nation.
The following morning (Monday) police picked him up and for the next two weeks he shared a rat-infested cell with smelly inmates. At the beginning of the third week, his jailers set him free. However, his luck was limited. The police banned him from preaching.
Two years later, a deep voice called him “Listen to good news about Africa.” Good news for change. Now good news about Africa is hard to find and difficult to hear. So listen carefully. AGDA has just come up with a fresh approach to Africa’s development: Path Alpha. Pastor Chineke Chiamaka did not hear more. He signed.
Chapter Nine (Pg.117-125)
Engineer SeifTahir loses his left eye.
After graduating from Abdelaziz Academy in Tripoli, Libya, Engineer Seif Tahir had left Libya and gone to study weapons development at the University of Paris. Some skeptics scoffed at him.
He returned from overseas (France) on the day the leader of Libya was celebrating his twentieth year in power. The leader’s opponents were not happy with these celebrations. Engineer
Tahir dismissed them as “crackpots left alone and ignored.” He believed the ruler had the right vision for Libya and so was the right person to rule it. He defended the ruler. Engineer Tahir joined the “Fist for Allah” after his return from the overseas. In a happy coincidence, the leader of Libya adored the “Fist of Allah.” He gave it all the money it asked for.
Al-Qaeda struck on the American soil. The leader of Libya knew America would retaliate and not necessarily with bounds of reason. He scrambled for his bases to shield Libya from America’s revenge. He even dismantled thc “Fist of Allah” itself.
Engineer Tahir would have learnt to live with anything but not with the dismantling of the “Fist of Allah.” This was the beginning of Tahir’s dislike for the leader. The dismantling of the “Fist of Allah” was shirq or sacrilege, an offense so dreadful that it was eternally unforgivable.
Angry beyond words, Engineer Tahir now hated the man he had once liked. No more was the leader of Libya his hero. He had become a villain. Meanwhile, dismantling of the “Fist of Allah” coincided with the peaking of unrelated crisis: “the accident.”
Engineer Tahir fell in love with Rahma Mahmoud, a female member of the “Fist of Allah” and Engineer Tahir’s junior staff mate at the weapons laboratory. He approached her. She did not say anything. Later, she smiled and after sometime, she said no. Engineer Tahir misinterpreted the sweet no to a sour no and reacted to it violently. Unwisely, he vowed to retaliate.
Engineer Tahir slapped Rahma Mahmoud in the name of administering discipline to her for shedding her head veil in public which was in violation of the Libyan culture. But the truth was he did it to take revenge against someone who he thought had rejected his advances. Discipline, revenge or whatever it in fact was, Rahma, did not take it lying low. She struck back and hit his left eye and slit it open. That was “the accident.” Engineer Tahir lost his left eye.
Engineer Tahir was hospitalized and discharged after a month. Turned bitter and vengeful, Engineer Tahir to Ms. Mahmoud to court. After proceedings, the made a ruling basing on. Hammurabic verdict: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. With this ruling, Rahma Mahmoud also lost her left eye through surgery.
Engineer Tahir sank into deep gloom. He refused to shake it off even after friends talking to him. When they (friends) persisted, he left Tripoli and moved east to live alone in Benghazi. There were two reasons for Engineer Tahir’s gloom. One was object, forcing and lifeless. He got it after losing an eye in what he used to call “the accident.” The other was “the effect”, deep and weakening. This he got when he decided to have an artificial replacement for the eye he had lost.
While at Benghazi, Engineer Tahir ran into a green-eyed stranger at a street-side café. The two got talking, mostly about the history of Libya; one such story was that Libya was inhibitedby Phoenicians and Greeks.
The other man said he was a Berber. The two had long conversations about Libya. The visitor introduced himself as Mr. Tad Longway. Mr. Tad Longway described the mission that had brought him to Benghazi. Engineer Tahir enlisted on the spot.
Chapter Ten (Pg.126-140)
The Seamount Observers
The youth (Nick) phones her immediately after lunch Fiona McKenzie goes to see Nicolas Sentinel in his office. She’s told to meet the silent listener. From the recordings on the silent listener, Nick says that there could be something fishy going on at the summit; a secret agenda by people whose identities are yet to be figured out beyond their names. There is a network of people whom he refers to as nodes. Four nodes (people) are not connected to each other.
There are conversations over cell phones between a man and four others. While the other man knew names of the other four, he insisted they just call him guide, a fake name. it turns out the guide is a hub-node then those other nodes are the four men: Prof. Kimani, Comrade Mclusij PastorChiamaka and Engineer Tahir. The nodes are at The Seamount Ilotel.
Nick says he uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) as a way of deterrnining location. The four nodes are not in communication with each other. All the four are communicating to only one person- their guide, the hub-node. He is their leader. He is also within The Seamount Hotel, second floor, central wing. Meanwhile, at The Seamount Hotel’s reception hall guests are flowing in.
McKenzie navigates her way across the hall, dodging guests and then makes some inquiries at the reception desk. It’s later revealed the person on the second floor, central wing room 2059 is Tad Longway.
Fiona McKenzie has come to check on Dr. Afolabi. In due course, she gathers more details about the hub-node on the central wing, second floor.
Using the telephone booth at the hotel, she calls Tad Longwaye She notices that Tad Longway had dropped an article that looked valuable, The article is in her custody. She calls and manages to convince him to collect his article. He came over. They met. She hands over the article. She gives him a key card to her office at VOA. He looks at the key card and returns it back to her. Mr. Tad Longway offers to buy a drink for Fiona McKenzie.
Elsewhere, Dr. Afolabi as he is preparing to go to bed, going through the notes on the presidents’ debate one more time, someone knocks at the door. It is Ms Fiona McKenzie. He usheres her in. They share pleasantries. Ms Fiona McKenzie informs Dr. Afolabi that she has tracked Mr. Longway and inquires if Dr. Afolabi knows him, after some hesitation he agrees that he knows him.
Mr. Longway and four other people alongside Dr. Afolabi, working from the periphery of the Summit, their guide, want the summit to adopt Path Alpha instead of Way Omega. The two are rival groups.The greatest challenge is that Path Alpha is not even on the summit’s agenda so Mr. Longway and his accomplices want Dr. Afolabi to help them get Path Alpha on thc summit’s agcnda.
Dr. Afolabi came to advocate for Way Omega and he will. However, in doing so, hewill draw in other alternatives including Path Alpha. Dr. Afolabi on learning that Nick is the source of all the information about the five people, he’s keen on meeting Nick.