BY CASSANDRA MERCY
Kindly read the questions below as you prepare for government. Additional information on the scope of the question is provided. It is important that you answer all questions truthfully even though we will not cross check any information provided herein; we trust you implicitly.
What is your weight?
MP’s are elected once they have attained a minimum weight of 90kgs. Weight over this is perfectly acceptable. There is no maximum limit. Since this application form is due two weeks before elections, feel free to lie and spend the campaign trail putting on weight. In our experience, Kenyans do not trust skinny candidates; they think it means you are poor and no one wants poor leaders; they are more motivated to steal.
In what languages can you string together a coherent sentence?
We realise this is a constitutional requirement but we don’t pay much attention to it. As long as one or two people close to you can understand you and translate later after press conferences we really don’t care if you speak clingon. Once you get elected it’ll be fait accompli anyway so do not stress yourself over this.
Can you read or write?
Again this is another one of those requirements we are lax about. It is hard to find leaders who can both read and write in this country. We are prepared to make exceptions if you can at the very least pretend at reading. A useful skill for you would be the ability to memorise phrases you don’t really understand and unleash them randomly on the citizenry. We will not hold your illiteracy against you. Everyone deserves a chance at leadership. We like to call it affirmative action for the illiterates.
Are you sane?
The law requires that you are of a sound mind in order to be eligible to run for a parliamentary seat. The constitution however does not give the definition of sanity or the parameters thereof so we have decided to give it as loose a meaning as possible. If you aren’t walking in the street naked then you are over-qualified.
Are you in business with the government?
These laws were written by people who had no full understanding of Africa. We really prefer it if you have some contract with the government. The more business deals you have the better, it means you are a faithful servant of the government and we applaud this.
Are you nominated by a political party?
We are not interested in which party it is, as long as you paid the nomination officials enough to make sure no wronged people start giving press conferences later attracting undue attention to a matter this small. Make sure you adequately compensate all the kind party officials for their support.
When you are done with this questionnaire, take it to the electoral body as soon as you can. We suggest you acquire a contact in the building so that you can file the papers in the middle of the night if need be. You MUST get there before any other nominee otherwise we’ll let you slug it out and the one who ends in hospital loses out.
Thank you for you interest in the leadership of this country, we wish you riches and good press.
(Cassandra Mercy is a producer in the Research Department of Capital FM)