A driver knows you more than you know yourself.
The Deep State: The illusion about power is that power lies with the lawyers, the bankers and some army Generals. We conflate power with positions. Unknown to us, the most powerful groups in Uganda are also the most underrated. It is in the groups where we least expect power to lie that we find the strongest of its anchors. Here are Uganda’s most powerful groups.
- Ugandan maids
Imagine someone who spends 24 hours in one area, now imagine they do this for weeks, months and sometimes years. That is a maid for you. Maids know every hidden corner of the house. Maids know all the emotions of their bosses. You could find the most decorated of army Generals having no option but to submit to the maid at home. The maid at home dictates the menu, the plates, the cutlery. The maid decides what clothes to withhold from the system.
You can tell when someone has annoyed their maid at home. You will stop seeing them wearing their favourite shirt. You do not want to be in a scenario where a maid has placed sanctions. That is when they will consistently prepare the same boring food. They will choose to do the noisiest of chores at the time when you desire some sleep. And when you push a maid to the limit, they could also easily become your co-wife. The maid knows about the holes in the minister’s socks, about that worn out bedsheet that the boss has refused to dispose of.
- Ugandan drivers
Now these are beyond powerful. If you want to know every scandal about a person, simply seek your water from the driver sources. Drivers know all the escapades of their bosses. A driver knows you more than you know yourself. A driver knows all the spots where you waste time. If your man or woman is cheating on you, the easiest way to get intel is to get them a driver. There is a rule in public service; ‘never allow anyone to assign you a driver’. You must always hire your own driver.
You are as good, as safe, as the loyalty of your driver. Your driver can drive you into a trap. Your driver knows all the hotels you visit, all the people you deal with. He may act dumb, silent, uninterested, but he records everything that happens. You must always treat your driver like a god. Because your driver is the number one conveyor of real-time information about your movements.
When someone controls your food or drink, that person could make the difference between life and death. The one reason you should always tip your waiter is simply because they decide what goes into your body. You never compromise on buying their loyalty.
Bartenders know the mood patterns of their clients. He will know that a one Mu-hoes prefers a Black Label when he has been pissed off by the father. A bartender will know all your exes, he will know which of them truly loved you, which of them was taking you for a ride. A bartender will know your broke days, your depression moments. He is a therapist!
If you want to know all the powerful people in your bar, ask the bartender. She knows the weight of every person that comes to the bar. She will tell you about the gentleman that is going through divorce, about the lady who has just bought a house in Kiwatule, about the man who is behind a big scandal in Kampala. Do not ever miss a chance to get some intel from a bartender.
Have you ever wondered what the cleaners do when they are all by themselves? When they have an office or a home all to themselves? Do they simply clean… business as usual? Do they skim through documents? What about those conversations that happen with them in the room? Do we assume that they never listen?
It is said cleaners were the original flies on the wall. Because no one ever worries about the presence of a cleaner even as they spill secrets. Yet, cleaners are people with brains. They are the deep state of every organisation. It is the cleaners that will know about any affair before the wider group gets to know. They are moving archives. If you want any information, simply ask a cleaner. Few people will ever get a chance to enter State House, yet there are cleaners that access all the most guarded offices daily. That is power beyond power.
- Personal assistants
You can disrespect anyone in the world, but never ever disrespect a Personal Assistant (PA). Never disrespect someone who manages another person’s schedule. There is no scenario in the world where one can break this rule. A PA must always be handled with care. If a PA cracks a joke, laugh at it. If a PA asks you to jump, simply ask; ‘how high?’ The day you sideline someone’s PA, that marks the beginning of your collapse. Who knows if they will not delete that email you sent to their boss? What if she deletes the appointment you had scheduled? What if she blocks your number on the boss’ phone?
A PA knows the mood of their boss. The PA gets to read the boss for a living. She knows more about her boss than anyone in the world. Some are too good, they know about the boss more than the boss knows about herself. If you want access to anyone in the world, simply strive to find their PA, and make them your ‘bestie’, you will have an appointment with anyone within seconds.
When someone has access to your private information, that is surely a person to keep close. Your nurse knows all the funny diseases you have had to treat. She knows that some of these diseases are because of your adventurous lifestyle. Your nurse has seen things about your body that most people will never see. If you want the best of conversations, always hang around the circles of nurses. You will get to know about the confessions people have made on their hospital beds. Nurses are gold mines of the deep state.
The Deep State:
Whenever people talk of the deep state, do not imagine it as one with guns raging, bullets flying, imagine it in the least expected of places. Imagine the Deep State as the lady serving beef or chicken at an Introduction Ceremony, imagine it as the bouncer at Guvnor with the power to throw you out, imagine the Deep State as the guy who inputs information from university applicants. Power lies in lower places, where it is ignored, where it has all the privacy.
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