Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fried fish a la John Pombe!

Hurray! I hear that the ministry of livestock development, fisheries and is giving out fish - gratis. Courtesy to the exploits of the minister himself, John Pombe Magufuli and his brilliant shock troops within his ministry.

The fish was impounded by the ministry after they caught Philipino pirates off the coast of Tanzania. Immediately the ministry got ‘creative’ and after 5 month of being stored in some cold-storage in Mwenge at a privately-owned set-up the fish is now given out free of charge and the government is left with a tidy debt of $1.18 million. The rest is ancient history.

But, wait for one big, fat minute. There has been another hiccup. No free fish has been given out. It seems that the ministry’s brilliant bureaucrats cannot even give the chow free.

I take back what I said earlier that the fish should have been auctioned five months ago, that would have been a momentous job. Now I am told that even giving it away free is another problem. Maybe we should call the donors to help. Let’s face it guys, we cannot even give free fish to people.

It’s quite a lot of fish, John and his super intelligent shock troops are trying to give out – some 296.32 plus tonnes of tuna (jodari). I have had a bit of tuna steaks before (definitely not from John’s ministry). But you cannot just grill 296.32 tonnes of the stuff. Cooking oil is in very short supply in Bongo. If you want to grill it, you will destroy half the Sao Hill forest reserve.

But not to worry too much. My spies in the ministry of livestock development and fisheries have hinted to me that John and his staff have been burning the mid-night oil manufacturing a special menu on how to do the tuna for those who manage to get the fish.

I hear not much time has been spent on writing the prisoners’ menu. Their fish will just be boiled with a pinch of salt and some ugali. That should do. If they protest the jailbirds will be told that under no circumstances will their tuna be seasoned. If they say ‘fyoko’ the fish will be withdrawn and they could go back to the diet they are used to – ugali and rotten beans!

For schools the dentis will get their fish seasoned an onion or two for a school of 600 students. If I know the ministry well, the whole lot of the fish will be pinched by headquarters staff. I mean if they steal exams year in and year out, and steal scholarships for their kids, girlfriends and boyfriends, what stops them from stealing tuna?

And hospitals? That will be the easy one. When the technocrats of Muhimbili are asked how come there is not even a whiff of tuna smell in the wards at he hospitals there will always be an answer. An elaborate report will be written that there has been an outbreak of an unidentifiable disease. That there have been sudden losses of appetite at the referral hospital and in frustration the fish have escaped into the Indian Ocean again.

But for the high echelons in society, they will be given a special menu for them to ‘taste’ the tuna. One of the biggies’ wives would be advised to make some stir fried Indian Ocean tuna steak a la John Pombe.

State House cooks could be advised to present to mzee some Indian Ocean tuna fish done in coconut sauce and Ubwabwa. I also
guess the Bunge will want to have an explanation about swimming dead tuna fish from Muhimbili. What John’s ministry could do is suggest a heavy menu for the Parliamentarians.
It could consist of John Pombe’s succulent tuna chunks, marinated in thick Tamarind sauce and chapatis to be washed down with chilled dry Dodoma white wine. That could put MP’s in a more agreeable frame of mind to hear his story and momentous goofs.

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