I could not waste my money and funding the guys with fuel, yet their search was all stuff and nonsense. Zulu remained on payroll, yet he had no child to ferry to school as they were under the custody of the mother. He could not brag that he was driving me around when I am already a very good experienced driver. Apparently, from the time I invited Joshua for sleepovers at my home, he was receiving packages of incentives from time to time. How could I be paying six men whose assignment was not getting achieved?
All the money I was paying them could be put to good use, and or be sent to my parents at the village. Accountability is very cardinal in one’s dealings. Just like a republican president does, I called for a high profile meeting of all my six gentlemen one evening in my house. I strongly reprimanded them by reminding them that they had absolutely done nothing yet per se. The homes for my enemies were discovered by me. I had no reasons to continue paying them if they were not doubling their efforts so as to motivate me. I saw everyone bowing down guilty.
Conclusively, they unanimously promised to up their efforts and I would be the happiest man in no time. I glared and darted my eyes from one corner of the house to the other as I listened on to their sweet promises. I saw sincerity in their eyes. There was need to give them a second chance.
The meeting was called to the end at 22:15 hours. As a way of motivating them, I gave each one K150 for missing supper. That was an honour to them. They left smiling.
Through their combined efforts, within a space of five days, I received some good news; the missing children were finally discovered at a foreign or international boarding school within the city. Being run on an international standard, the school had so many various restrictions which are nowhere in government schools. To begin with, visitation to them was quite difficult and not encouraged. The use of phones was strongly uncalled for. That is why my children could not call me even at once, I understood. The school was well secured in a wall fence which was electrified. Entry of visitors was restricted too. I was convinced my caution to the gentlemen really prompted them to take risks.
On different occasions, I sent my guys to spy and dig out more information about the school, especially its security affairs. They could go as parents looking for vacancies for their children. In the process, they were walked around in the premise by unsuspecting members of staff. It was understood that the school had a longer academic term.
Zulu was restrained from visiting the school because the children knew him very well. If they saw him there, they could alert their kidnappers that they saw him. Moreover, he might coincidentally meet with either Maggie or Benjamin before the mission of rescuing the children was accomplished. Equally, I took careful precaution when visiting the school.
It was unusual of Edward visiting me during lunch hour; every time he did so, had its own story. He is the only subordinate who was capable of rebuking and teaching me how to handle certain issues amicably. Outside formal work, we had a lot of stuffs together. Edward was the first one to strongly condemn my drinking habits. The guy was just fearless because all those who treasured my military training could hardly confront me over such trivial personal stuffs.
As we sat in the cafeteria, I motioned to one of the waitresses to come over and take an order for Edward who joined me. Surprisingly, he declined the offer and due to my persistence he only opted for a drink. He could not spare me to finish my meal before breaking the ice. His concern that day was about the closeness with Sepiso. According to him, it was high time I did away with Maggie and had her replaced. While I was masticating the food, he went further saying I was more than lucky because before I could set a snare a favourable catch brought itself forth. He complimented the way we matched and looked so admirable and marvelous every time together. I laughed so hard such that food almost choked me, leaving my eyes red and tears rolled involuntarily.
The difficulty argument I encountered was making a conviction I was not dating Sepiso by the way. I did not want to disclose it in the first place but his persistence that I have her engaged prompted me. Edward challenged me that I would lose Sepiso at my own peril due to delaying in doing the most needful which I knew very well. Such beautiful ladies are never free from receiving love proposals. Mathematically, not less than three love proposals descend upon them weekly from different men. This is the very reason sometimes they tend to be rude and unapproachable. I was still explaining something to Edward when Sepiso called to check on me. Having noticed it was her I was talking to, Edward left saying I had myself to blame if I lost the golden opportunity.
It was a custom for Sepiso to always spare time during every meal time to check on me. She was so against my attitude of skipping some meals. Apart from a mere check, she was also concerned with the type of food I had at a particular meal. In case I was craving for some dish which might be unavailable for one or two reasons, she insisted I waited for her to provide or prepare.
Plainly speaking, Sepiso was far different from most ladies around. She was one lady who was so and ever down to earth; charming and jovial. I bought a washing machine before I divorced Maggie. Since my childhood, I liked and cherished washing very much. I could wash then Sepiso pressed and packed all the clothes nicely in the closet for me.
The more she was availing herself to me, the more I was getting attracted to her. The words spoken by Edward pierced my heart. I tried by all means possible to get rid of them but they really sunk in my thinking capacity. This intense thought subjected me to a deep introspection; the kind of a woman I needed to have as a wife, what would happen if I proposed love to her and she turned the proposal down? What if she was only my sympathizer and not the way I perceived her? Would Edward play any role in making sure I won Sepiso’s heart? If I married her, would she truly love my children without any level of humiliation?
One thing I know for sure about ladies is that once she turns down your love proposal she cannot be that close to you as always. Some end up seeing you as an opportunist who devours whoever brings herself in your reach. With all these thoughts, I had to wait and see what laid ahead.
There was a plan of coming home to kidnap both Stain and Marjory as they closed schools. The plan was to kidnap them in the closing week while at home. Maggie was the mastermind of this orchestration. Meanwhile, Benjamin did not show much interest at its conception hence it took Maggie a full week to have him fall for it. Actually, she had to be temperamental thereby challenging him she knew he had nowhere to take them because it was evident he did not want to divorce his first wife. It was interesting reading through most of their chats though except for the evil plans on my children. Whoever was the main advisor of Maggie must be a nincompoop. At one point, I got resolved to go and raid her home so that she could know I am not someone to provoke unnecessarily. Thank heavens, Joshua stood up and blocked my plan courageously.
To show both Maggie and Benjamin the fight they started was for real men and not just ordinary ones, without notifying them l was aware of their plotting, l summoned my gentlemen again for an operation. Since Joshua refused me to raid Maggie’s home, I hatched an idea of kidnapping the children from the international school even before Stain and Marjory were kidnapped. By the way, her intention was to kidnap and ferry them to Solwezi for holiday with a view to having them stay there for good.
I hate cowards. I hate pessimists. Anything to do with either cowardice or pessimism is not my portion. My guys were so afraid of executing a kidnap on the children at school. They were fearing to be rounded up by Grade 7 drop out security guards. I was so hysterical at their plain declaration of fear. The security guards were never armed all those days we spied on the security levels of the school. The only weapons they had to themselves were short battens. I schemed the plan for them: They were to use two cars, enter the campus at different intervals, never let the guards know they were together, during meal times, teachers get busy also looking their own meals, one or two to stand by the dining hall main entrance gate, squeeze an opportunity to meet both of the children, entice them to collect something from the car at the car park. In case the teacher on duty decides to be restrictive, give him or her some money for talk time as a bribe, pretend to be so busy and in a hurry so much that you cannot wait for the pupils to finish having heir lunch. Once they follow to the car park, drag them inside, driver to point a loaded gun to the guards. The other car to be used as a sweeper behind and thereby disturbing those who might vest interest in the happenings. In each car, there was a loaded gun.
A fine day was set to have the operation carried out. Zulu was not exempted anymore. His skillful driving was very needed. I instructed them to keep me posted. I sat in the office very alert.
My father checked on me; in our casual discussion, he wanted to know whether I managed to get to know the whereabouts of Lweendo and Peggy. I happily informed him they were at a certain boarding school within the city. It was needless to mention the whole process done in tracing them. What was cardinal was letting him aware the search was over.
He expressed happiness after learning his grandchildren were in good health and no foul play had been instilled in them. Furthermore, he revealed how the entire family was committed and remained praying for the kidnapped children. Indeed, God answers prayers. And He is still in the business of answering earnest and faithful prayers. It was so humbling to receive free religious advice and encouragement from dad, a man who lived devoted to the Almighty God.
Apparently, dad was a bearer of what I can safely term as sad news; he did not want me to continue fighting for my children. Instead, I had to let them stay with their mother. There was not any further need of me fighting for them as though it was a competition of who truly owned them. Since Maggie got two, and I remained with the same number, that was fine. Blood is blood. They would still come back to me on their own in the process of time.
Not wanting to quarrel with him, I calmly explained to him that according to leaked information, which I trapped from reliable source, Maggie and Benjamin were restlessly scheming to come and kidnap the remaining children from me. Honestly speaking, would it be regarded as fair play for me to sit idle while my enemies were advancing into my bedroom? It is just the same as allowing an intruder to defecate in your house and then you start complaining about the stench. A real man needs to rise and break such an intruder’s head!
In the same vein, my mother rode on dad’s strong contention (gainstrife). Women are far different from men; they get emotional so fast. Mum did not have time to discuss such issues in a friendly manner. All she did was to bring out her line of thought and command me to obey. As an elderly person, I could not be compelled to obey her threats, especially empty ones. Moreover, she was the very person who on countless occasions said I grew up as a rude boy. She had a record of how I treasured fighting for the truth. I won so many arguments during my childhood. And I ended up being a rabble rouser.
I could not trade on such line of thought and succumb to it. Whether with or without their backing, I was determined to have my children back to my house.