Quick Talk – Wadri Wants Flowers On His Grave 247

Quick Talk talked to Terego County MP Kasiano Ezati Wadri, and below is the interesting exchange.

How old are you, Honourable?

My God, you want to write my biography? But you can ask. I’m not like women who don’t want … [thinks of a better example:] I’m not like Museveni who is an octogenarian but is pretending. I am 56frac12.

Where were you and to whom were you born?

I was born into Osua clan, in the present-day Adripi parish in Terego county, to the late Fabio Ezati Oria and Martha Talia, who is still alive.

No one has ever told me the clan they were born into. What about your education?

I went to a Catholic-founded school, Aria PS. At that time, my parents and the community were particular about the religious affiliation of the school a child attended. There were nearby schools like Owaffa PS which was for Muslims, Liria PS which was for Anglicans and Aripe PS, which was for Catholics but it was for girls. That meant I had to go to Aria which was eight miles away.

By the way, I am the fifth in a [monogamous] family of 12. We are like the clans of Israel. [Continues the narration… .] I didn’t complete at Aria. I went to St Peter and Paul Pokea Seminary that’s where I completed P.7 and studied up to S.2 in the secondary section. [Wadri briefly went to the National Seminary at Katigondo, Masaka, which he left to join St Charles Lwanga, Koboko.

He would have made an interesting priest, though!] I was offered History, Economics and Geography at St Charles Lwanga Koboko and as pioneers, I surprised the world when I scored triple A. We didn’t have much of career guidance then but I had an opportunity to get a brochure from (Makerere) university that showed how one should pass to join the university. I could have done anything but I opted for SWASA. Our admissions were not like those ones of today they were sent by post. At Makerere, Prof Abraham Kiapi pleaded with me to do Law.

Pleaded with you to do Law?

Yes. Law did not have market then. Anybody with any points would join it.


[Derisively] Yes. You could not compare it to SWASA.

How things change! What was your first job?

[Following the first multiparty elections in 1980, Wadri, with others, organised a strike at Makerere as chairman of the notorious Northcote hall – please don’t tell him about your present-day Nsibirwa hall – and was a DP activist, which led to the UPC government blacklisting him.]

I was not eligible for a government job but I applied to Public Service and got two job offers, one as an Immigration officer and another as a Rehabilitation officer. I chose Rehabilitation officer, under the ministry of Rehabilitation and I worked in public service till I joined active politics.

Why do you think your voters keep choosing you? [Wadri joined parliament in June 2001.]

I’m frank. I don’t tell people lies, promising them heaven on earth when I know the promises I am making are not my roles to play as an MP. I am also down-to-earth and promote the welfare of the community particularly in education.

But doesn’t your wallet feel the pressure?

It does but I do what I do with bliss. Besides, why should I hold onto my money? I am going to be buried naked.

Buried naked?!

[Laughing] Without money. I want to be remembered after death. I want my grave to always have flowers. I want people to say: Wadri contributed towards the building of that church and that mosque.

Aren’t you afraid you will end up like your indebted colleagues?

No, no, no. Look here Quick Talk, I give within my means. I won’t say that I don’t borrow but I borrow within my means too.

Oh. Ok. Which of your female colleagues do you consider most beautiful?

[Shaking his head] I’m sorry I’ve been in parliament for 13 years but I’ve never [does that swearing thing where you touch your tongue and put your finger in the air] admired my colleagues in line with having intimacy with them. It is the worst thing you can do with your career.

You can admire without wanting to be intimate… .

It would be a big mistake. If you had a relationship with a colleague, you would lose respect and authority. Why would I want to look like a fool?

Indeed why would you? You are married, aren’t you?

Oh my God, at my age? [Yes valid question, with Mr Olara Otunu in the bachelor leagues] I’m married with seven children and three grandchildren, so I’ve proved my worth. I’m not like you, Quick Talk [Yeah, Quick Talk is yet to prove her worth in that line].

Are you a romantic husband?

Let me tell you, I’m a traditional Lugbara. Traditional Lugbara don’t walk with their wives everywhere otherwise they compose songs for them, that they are like white ants that have lost their wings. Not that I don’t love my wife – I wouldn’t have been with her this long if I didn’t – but I’m a traditional Lugbara. I go to church and functions with her but you can’t find me holding her hand all the time. The Lugbara would ask: is he the first to get a wife?

Eh! They are tough. Do you take alcohol?

Yes I do. I take wine and Club beer. I took leave of two years some time back and during this period, Red Pepper wrote that I had survived assassination when the drinking joint I was in was attacked.

I was in Lesotho then and when I came back people were telling me: “Oh you survived!” [Media] also wrote another in Luganda, Ababaka abatamiivu (MPs who are drunkards) and they put my picture alongside that of (VP Edward) Ssekandi, (John Ken) Lukyamuzi and (Joseph Gonzaga) Ssewungu. They said that I take malwa and wash it down with Bell that I knew all the malwa joints in Mbikko. I have never taken Bell I drink Club beer and at that time, I wasn’t [even] drinking. I got so angry I wanted to take them to court.

Hahahahaha, sorry. What’s your favourite food?

Inyasa, which is ugali made out of cassava flour mixed with either millet or sorghum. I also like posho, maize flour. I enjoy it most with either dried fish or greens mixed with beans and paste (groundnut), or dried meat mixed with paste. My best time to eat is lunch time.

What colour do you like most on women?

Truthfully, I’m colour blind.

Ok. What is your preference in underwear?

[Looks away from Quick Talk, like she has hit him:] Now Quick Talk you are going really personal. It is [Tommy] Hilfiger boxers.

Finally, if you were allowed one memory, which one would you keep?

That of my wife and children.

Source : The Observer

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