This is a Guest Blog. I have been asked not to reveal the name.
Gas or Not?
After a long period without cooking gas, I got a call from one of my informers. I'd spoken to four petrol station workers, so that they would alert me anytime the commodity was finally supplied.
So on the 27th, early afternoon, I got a call from one of my 'watchers' from the Total Hurlingham petrol Station. I was in the CBD when the call came so it only took me all of 11 minutes to get to the petrol station. I met a gentleman with Yuvenaris/Yuvenalis on his name tag and immediatelly unloaded my empty 13kg cylinder, but he shocked me and told me that there was no gas! I asked him a second time and he assured me that cooking gas had not been delivered.
I almost packed my empty cylinder back into the car, but much as my 'lookout' had told me that cooking gas is very fast moving in these times of scarcity, I was a bit doubtful about how fast the product could have moved.
I then called my lookout up to enquire about the speed the commodity had moved, and after I explained what I was told by Yuvenalis, he told me to persist, cajole and even threaten. It seems that there is some of racket where the petrol station attendants in charge of cooking gas (and other products that are in short supply) usually hold back from selling it, only to sell it to brokers at a marked up price, as my lookouts from all gas stations confessed.
With this in mind, I persisted and told Mr. Yuvenalis that I was aware that cooking gas had been delivered and that I was not going away until I got my cylinder. I dropped one or two big names and the fellow softened up and told me to stop demanding in a loud voice, and that the gentleman in charge, a Mr. Maweu, who was away, would come and he'd ensure I got my gas.
When Maweu Nzioki, as his badge read, finally came, he informed me that 'very few' cylinders could be availed' after the people that had placed their orders picked their product. He went on to explain to me that "'Orders from above' kept his hands tied as "Watu Wakubwa" usually booked through bigger offices, and there was nothing much he could do. I was even more persistent, and so was he. Mr. Nyachae, the current chair of the C.I.C just happened to be parking his vehicle in the lot, and Maweu then went on to point out Nyachae as one of the Watu Wakubwa who had booked their cooking gas. Up until now, I have not been able to establish if Mr. Nyachae had actually booked for his cooking gas.
I was still not convinced, so I persisted, very loudly telling him that there are no provisions for prior booking and that we were all equal under the constitution, etc, there are no 'big or small people'. It did not take long for him to cave in, and finally, I got my 13kg gas cylinder, though not as happy a camper as I'd have wanted to be.
As a parting shot, before I left, another gentleman drove into the station asking for cooking gas and Mr. Maweu blatantly lied to him as well, that the commodity was unavailable. I walked into the scene and told the gentleman that there indeed was a supply of cooking gas and he should demand it. Maweu, on sensing defeat quickly sold him a cylinder of 13 kg Total cooking gas, lest I stick around and mess his 'business' more.
That is my sad tale.
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