The Assassin’s hair.

Guest post by: Elimelech Barnabass

A week before, the opinion poll results had been released; Oballa was ahead of his closest competitor, the sitting president, by a whooping six percent. He was gaining popularity very fast, the results showed, and that the gap was widening. This was good news to the opposition party but to the president and his party, it was a headache that gave them sleepless nights. They surely had to do something or else, the writing was on the wall. They had lost the city. Most of its residents seemed to support Oballa and his party. Their rallies drew mammoth crowds. People cheered him on and whatever he did made it to the front pages of the local dailies. Campaigns were rife. Deals were brokered in the night. Declarations were made during the day. Allegiances were switched. Political friends turned foes and foes friends.

People were astonished.

Like any other aspirant, Oballa was up and running. His days were spent in rallies, accusing the government of this or that, or both. Corruption, Tribalism, Poor services, unfulfilled promises, he cut into them like a saw cuts into a piece of wood. His nights were spent plotting strategies with the people in his camp. The sitting president was seeking a second term in office, but retaining his seat seemed an uphill task. Unknown to him his running mate Jonas, who would be his deputy when he won the elections, wanted his seat more than Oballa. And to achieve his mission without breaking a sweat, he would use Oballa himself to ascend to power.

To appease people from all regions, Oballa had resorted to a campaign strategy of integrating all communities. He had employed Greg as his bodyguard. Greg came from a community rival to Oballa’s. He came from the same community as the president’s running mate. He even knew the president’s deputy in person and nobody knew this, not even the president. They would meet at night and talk. The nights when the bodyguard had escorted Oballa to his place, he would meet the Jonas. They would talk for a while, in their mother tongue. Jonas always drove himself, in random cars. Sometimes he walked, cap pulled over to cover his face. So on this day he was brief.

“Is everything Okay”

“Yes”

“Can we bring the girl now?”

“No. just wait for the weekend.”

They need to strike a rapport you know”

“No, Obbie doesn’t want rapports. He drinks, asks for a hit and leaves”

“So.”

“So wait. Till the night just before your rally.”

There were huge plans for the following weekend, which was four days away. The president would wade through the opposition’s backyard and sell his agenda to the people of Oballa’s stronghold. He would stop at Viungani, address people for a few minutes before moving on. The cameras were on standby mode as that was one of the boldest steps a politician would ever dare, going to your opponent’s stronghold. Opinions were sampled, political scientists were consulted and history revisited. The president had balls, they all agreed. Oballa and his team were interviewed. They welcomed the president, wished him luck and urged their supporters to maintain order when the day finally came.

It was not long before Friday came. The following day was the D-day. The most awaited day. That evening, Oballa was in the bar having some drinks. It had been a tedious week. He greeted a person here, saluted at an old friend and snapped his finger to order one more round for each revealer present, on his bill. He paid and bade all goodbye. Like any other successful man, and being a public figure, Oballa had one Achille’s heel- women. He was married yes, but that didn’t avert him from extra-marital affairs. Each Friday, he would drive with a lady down to Viungani. Where he had rented one room on Benja flats. Nobody knew about this, except Greg. They would drive to Viungani, then Greg would come back alone, only to come for the lady the following morning. That’s how it always happened. Then he would come for mheshimiwa a few hours later.

That evening at Scorpion inn something had happened. Some random lady had appeared. She came and greeted Greg. They talked for a couple of minutes, she was so free. He introduced her to Mheshimiwa as Mimmie, his former classmate. They had a short chat and she told Oballa that she was a dancer trying to make a break in the art. She was also a model and said she hoped Oballa’s victory would help people like her. The top she was wearing glistened in the dark, her bra curved itself on it. It had some space that let loose the voluptuous breasts and exposed an enviable cleavage for the world to see. There was something about her hair, long and natural. Left shaggy in a way that made her even more beautiful. She threw a smile, once or twice in a conversation.

“Are you busy tonight?” Oballa whispered.

“Not really. It’s Friday. I was bored at home so came here to kill time? She replied

“Then we can go over to my place and have some good time?”

“Sure, why not?” she said, winking.

The die had been cast. A few minutes to midnight they were at Benja flats. The two lovebirds went up the stairs as the bodyguard returned with the car. He would fetch Mimmie in the morning. Before they would even go past the first floor, Mimmie stopped. She had forgotten her phone in the car.

“Can’t he bring it tomorrow?”

“No, please call him before he goes far” she cajoled.

Oballa called Greg. Luckily he had not even driven off. He was still in the compound, had gone for a call of nature on the ground floor toilets. She rushed to bring the phone. The phone, and a Cesca CZ 75B pistol. This time, she tied her hair into a bundle and tucked the pistol into it. Then used the light on her phone to light her way up the stairs, towards the drunk waiting politician. As soon as he slammed the room behind them, he pressed a switch just next to the door and lit the room.

“Your hair was free if I’m not wrong. What happened?”

“I tied it in the car, it was disturbing me”

“I didn’t see you do that?”

Is that an issue? I mean…”

“No, just asking” Oballa cajoled. He moved closer to Mimmie. She took his hands, led them around her waist to her behinds, them inched her lips closer to his. She kissed him. He pulled her closer, tightly.

“I didn’t plan for this though” she whispered.

“I know. Unplanned for cookies are sweet” he replied. They both laughed as he pushed her against the wall. Switch of the lights honey, I want to give you a moment you will remember till you die” she said.

“At your service queen” he said, moving for the switch. After the lights had been turned off, he moved to where she was. His eyes could trace her in the dark, as she pulled off her bra. She untied her hair and using her left hand, she pulled Oballa to her left nipple. He had just inserted it in her mouth when she felt a cold sensation on his chest, just below the left breast. Before he would bring his hand, she had pulled the trigger. Nobody would hear, it was silenced. She leaned oballa’s lifeless body against the wall close to the window before taking a nap, for the following day she had to finish what she had started. Have the window open, cover it with just a curtain then have Oballa’s body dangling behind the curtain such that if the curtain was removed, the body would fall out through the window, down to the ground.

The following day on his way to Viungani, at mid-morning, the president had a stop-over just behind Benja flats. Residents had gathered to wave at him and his deputy encouraged him to give a word or two. These were votes, and elections were here. He stood out through the top of the car as the deputy remained in the car. He was on his third statement when the curtains of a room in fifth floor moved. Nobody saw it happen. Mimmie was a sharp shooter. She had her target in place and when people heard the gunshot, there was a stampede. The president had died. She moved the curtain and a face was seen by the president’s security detail. They shot. She shot as well, driving Oballa’s body down to the ground. The car carrying the president and his deputy had sped off. Everybody had, except the journalists.

As cameramen struggled to find the perfect shot of the opposition leader’s body falling from a room in Benja flats, as the world closed its eyes in disbelief of the assassination, the president’s deputy was smiling alone in the car, for he had successfully killed two birds with one stone. The president was dead. The very strong opposition leader was dead, and the whole world believed that he, Oballa, had shot the president. Now one thing was for sure, he would be the president for the remaining term, then he would be voted in due to sympathy.

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