Frank Gashumba arrived at the rendezvous carrying six mobile handsets and two power banks. And no, none looked fake. Social media warriors do that.
We had invited Gashumba to a café at Centenary Park without informing him of the exact purpose for the meeting. A white lie that we were going to discuss how to have Isaac Katende, aka Kasuku, sacked from his jobs as per his campaign was enough for him to come charging.
Also invited was Kasuku himself. It was to be a surprise roundtable talk to end the ‘impasse’ between the two. Neither knew the other was going to be present. When Kasuku arrived, Gashumba peered into the chubby cheeks as if to confirm that the half rotund fellow smiling sheepishly before us was the same Kasuku he was up against.
Then I broke the news. Gashumba jumped up and charged out. In his fury, he had forgotten his power banks. And, for that, he had to come back. He was talking and allowing no one else to talk. He accused everything that moved at Centenary Park of toying with his precious time.
However, after nearly five minutes of foaming at the corners of his mouth, he finally took his seat. “Let me act like a corpse for today,” he said. “Every human being allows a fly to hover around them once in this world and I will allow Kasuku, not that I am dead.”
“Okay, Frank, enough. Kasuku is not a fly. Let’s act like gentlemen but first let’s know what the problem is,” the mediator in me said.
“This breed of uncouth journalist has the audacity to use vulgar language on a respected person who has died…”
“Uncouth what? Didn’t you call some CEO a pig?” Kasuku charged.
“You’re living on borrowed time. I’m getting you sacked. Just a few signatures to go and management will have no option but to yield to public demand.”
“Go ahead, I might end up at your Sisimuku as a shareholder.”
“You’ve a wild dream but let’s see if you will be able to make noise again a week from now.”
“Okay, guys, let’s hold fire,” I said. Turning to Gashumba, I added: “Frank, isn’t there a way you can relate with what Kasuku said?”
“Relate? With this vagabond?”
“No, with Kasuku.”
“Yes, he is nothing but a vagabond.”
“But even Stella [Nyanzi] uses hard bedroom and soft-cesspool language often, you don’t ask for signatures to have her confined in Luzira.”
“Now you are comparing this vagabond to Dr Nyanzi?”
“Okay, let’s say this vagabond actually seduces your daughter, will you have a better opinion of him?”
“You called me here to insult me? You are a fool!”
“But you know even God Himself sent a Delilah to tame Samson. You could do better sending something softer with a smile to tame Kasuku…”
“I wouldn’t want to be his in-law, I can’t spend all my productive time running around to look for bail money whenever he is picked up for fraud,” Kasuku fired back.
Gashumba opened his mouth to speak but no words came out. He stammered and jabbed a finger in Kasuku’s face, sneered and picked one of his phones to go and take a call. When he returned, he picked the rest of his gadgets.
“Sit down, Frank. Social media won’t run away while you are here,” I said.
“I’ve endured enough insults today to last me a lifetime,” he replied.
“But you do understand that it isn’t his words that killed, right?”
“Suit yourself. I’m going.”
“Let him go, he needs to go and raise those signatures,” Kasuku said. Gashumba charged back and tossed in his seat.
“You want to challenge me?” he asked.
“This is not a wrestling smack down. Just calm down.”
“Kasuku, retract your statement with an apology to the late and his family and friends. Short of that…”
“What? Maybe you should tell those celebs who think they own the country to listen to me real good when I speak because I won’t be pampering them. Those who don’t want to destroy their lives should listen.”
“I’ve warned you enough. You’ll be jobless and yawning all night without even food to eat and no employer will want such a vagabond like you.”
“And you will be back in Luzira, eh?”