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Flight of fancy: MP’s longing for air support that won’t take off

By Brian Otieno | November 22nd 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

What’s in a name? Well, Ferdinand, according to some online dictionary, means bold. This could be true, given the bold statements Ferdinands are known to make. Some Ferdinands.

One of them sought the relocation of rivers notorious for trespassing into residential establishments–and another wants choppers for MPs.

Ferdinand Wanyonyi–unlike what Kenyans on Twitter believe–isn’t selfish. The mhesh for Kwanza could have taken all the glory for his latest wish to Wanjiku but was gracious enough to admit it was a collective idea conceived at Bunge’s cafeteria.

He deserved all the credit given the cowardice his colleagues displayed, glossing over what really ailed the country’s healthcare system as they eulogised Justus Murunga, the late MP for Matungu.

"We should have a hotline for helicopters just in case – just in case there is a problem, one can be taken to the nearest facility,” he said.

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There was no applause after his remark. None of his fellow waheshimiwa wanted to blow their cover and have the public know they were in cahoots with the newest genius on the block.

Perhaps it was all part of a plan, and they were testing the waters and would reveal themselves at the right time – when discussions on who would benefit from the helicopter scheme start.

No doubt their families would be the primary beneficiaries. Plus, knowing how selfless our MPs are, they would want all their three wives, eight children, and the slay-queen they met last Friday included in the package.

And thanks to the ambiguity of Wanyonyi’s statement, no one knows what problems merit the services of a helicopter. It could as well mean an itchy throat, and the nearest facility in such a case would be their 'local'.

Or perhaps the slay-queen would have a life-threatening emergency that would be addressed by taking selfies beside the chopper, which would be shared online #livingthedream.

The new Ferdinand also wants special ambulances for MPs living in Nairobi (all of them) because having traffic cleared for them isn't enough.

Clearly, the choppers and ambulances can’t be to get them to health facilities. Not when Covid-19 is emptying hospitals, and not just the beds.

Medical personnel, as Seme MP James Nyikal tearfully learned on Wednesday, are also dying from the disease. And it’s because everyone thought health workers were superheroes who could do without the protective gear they have pleaded and fought for since March.

Rumour has it that PPEs cost more than getting choppers for every MP and ambulances to boot. But the issue even isn’t the expense–it is that the Government believes they are more effective gathering dust in warehouses.

But assuming the problem was health-related, how would a conversation between an MP and the person on the other end of the line go (supposing they weren’t as snobbish as the 999 operators)?

“Hello, I need a chopper. My son–he can’t move,” a mhesh would call, panting heavily.

“Calm down,” a voice replies, “is he breathing?”

“He is. But he can’t move. He can’t get off the sofa. My son! Please save my son!”

“Are you sure he didn’t overeat again–like he did yesterday, and the day before?” the voice asks.

“He outdid himself today. Please help,” the MP would say, before threatening his would-be saviour with dire consequences if air support is not dispatched ASAP.

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