Gitegi’s most learned seismologists have been struggling to explain to people why the villagers need to move to higher ground.

It is a no-brainer, however, that with the earthquake Harold and I are about to trigger, those living in valleys will be the most affected. In any case, the national earthquake we were promised weeks ago only touched those at the lowest levels politically, economically and socially.

And so the seismologists of Gitegi, who have been accused of biased predictions, decided to let people be. He who has eyes shall see. The key seismologists, Harold and yours truly, knew that yesterday, our announcement would come and shake the village to its core.

Saturday morning, delegates started arriving at the social hall, which is also the village’s biggest church, Harold Assembly of Holy Associates (HAHA).

They were draped in the colours of Harold’s party, which changes names all the time. The colours of Harold’s team are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple; any colour really.

So we announced we were to inform our followers of a coalition that was to leave the village shaken.

The delegates sat in wait, unsure of what was expected of them. A few drunkards strolled in and Harold winked at me. It was how we wanted it; these were the moles who were going to tell Sue, Harold’s chief rival, what we had agreed on.

But when Sue’s brigade stormed into the place, half-drunk, murmurs began. Everyone thought they had solved the riddle. The earthquake coalition was to fetch someone from Sue’s party and make them Harold’s running mate, which would considerably weaken Sue.

As I sat adjacent to Harold, I wondered what the earthquake was going to be. Paul, Clarissa’s son, serenaded the audience, singing the old dirges freedom fighters sang around graves of their fallen comrades. Perhaps he was preparing Harold for what is to come when Gitegi goes to the ballot.

A few delegates were called forward by the master of ceremony, yours truly, to speak. They were picked randomly, I had to crane my neck and point to a head.

“Yes, you,” I shouted, hoping the appointed delegate had some sense up their head and was going to be of little disappointment.

Some staggered forward and spoke about the colonial era, which was the current era, in which Harold was gagging the press and trying to intimidate anyone who was against him. Such a speaker, I kindly asked to never show their face around Harold again.

I made sure that Sue’s allies were given equal time to Harold’s. The first Harold ally to speak, myself, had very kind words for the dictator. He also was very kind towards man’s greatest enemy, the avocado. And Harold, who is determined to uphold every vice, was pleasantly surprised.

By noon, we had not made the earth-shattering announcement. I was informed some of the villagers had started moving uphill to mitigate the effects of the impending earthquake. It came minutes past one when Harold finally rose to speak.

“We are headed into elections that determine if we choose to remain with the best dictator we have ever had,” he started, reading off the paper I had written him. I am certain I had written DIRECTOR and not DICTATOR, but my worries evaporated when the crowd cheered.

“And so, we will have to be sober at the ballot!” The drunkards cheered.

“In this election, we present a team that is going to win and give you everything that you have desired. And here comes the earthquake!” The two seismologists glanced at each other and suddenly, we knew what was coming.

“Pete, who is today’s master of ceremony, will be on a joint ticket with Harold! And we combine the names Harold and Pete to have Team Harolte!”

It is not Harlot, you dirty mind, and shouldn’t you be focused on the earthquake that followed, or that did not. HaHa!