The deposed president of Sudan Omar-Al Bashir is now living in a SAFE HOUSE house in Khartoum, surrounded by the military.
He has been confined in this house for his own safety because protestors are still baying for his blood, days after they forced him to step down.
A week ago, Bashir lived in STATE HOUSE still in Khartoum with its grandeur and attendant privileges: the chandeliers, the marbled floor, the retinue of servants, comfortable chairs and all.
But in the SAFE HOUSE, sources have told The Rogue, things are not good.
Mbu Bashir needs the permission of soldiers to go to the restroom, the same way pupils in primary schools ask teachers to allow them to go and pee. He reportedly sleeps on a two-inch mattress which is placed on a two by six feet bed, he watches news on a Black and White TV and he washes his own boxers.
Life is indeed very unpredictable. One moment you are living like a king, another you are being treated like a slave.
Yet luckily for Bashir, he has at least been allowed access to a telephone. So he spends most of his time talking to relatives and a few friends across the world.
Over the weekend, mbu he telephoned a fellow strongman in one of the countries in the world and gave him some useful advice.
Here is how the conversation went.
Bashir: My very good friend, how are you? How are your lovely people? I know you must be surprised to hear my voice given what is happening in my country.
Strongman: Err..I am fine and the people are fine. Is this Bashir? Nice to hear from you. Are you fine?
Bashir: I am okay although I cannot say life is fine. The last few days have been terrible. Can you imagine being chased out of office like a chicken thief? People are not appreciative. When I took power in 1989, Sudan’s economy was on the knees. I used the oil money well to build roads, hospitals and a stable economy only for people to protest over the rising price of wheat. Can you imagine, wheat?
Strongman: I understand..people can really disappoint. Even me when I came to power some years ago, things were not fine. People lacked the basics, revenue collections were meagre, the roads were in a poor state, industries had collapsed. I have also done my best to turn around the situation. By the Grace of God and of course with the help of my good officers in the military, I am still fine.
Bashir: Can you imagine, I also thought people loved me so much. In the last elections I won with 94.05%. The military people were my good friends. I paid them well and gave them all the necessary equipment to protect me and the sovereignty of the country. In fact one of their leaders is a brother in law because he married my sister. I was shocked that they also turned against me when I needed them most. People can’t be trusted.
Strongman: Indeed, you cannot trust people because they are human beings who can change their mind. In my country, the only person I trust is myself and maybe my shadow. I have learned not to just trust fwaa…remember the other gentleman I had entrusted with so much power? He appeared trustworthy and I thought he was very loyal to me until I discovered that he had started building his power base. I ditched him. He is now quiet. I have a few noisy opposition people but these are easy to deal with. Give them some Kiboko here, some money there…and they will keep quiet.
Bashir: What about the military? I know you are well versed in these military things. How did you tame it?
Strongman: With the military you just have to keep it at a safe distance. Keep shuffling their leaders. I don’t allow a military leader to stay in one position for more than five years lest they build a power base. If one of them develops a big head, I put them in andachi, court martial or katebe. Then for those who are responsible for my personal security, there is a special traditional criteria I use to select them.
Bashir: Okay but still be very wary of the military because you never know when they will turn against you. I also thought I had put a lid on them but waa…when the pressure from the people became too much, they also gave in and joined them…Anyway, I shall keep in touch because this military guard thinks I have talked for too long. Please stay well.
Strongman: Okay brother. Let me keep you in my prayers.
The Rogue is a satirical column that runs once a week on The Nile Post. The author can be reached on +256-788179369/+256-752195226