The campaigns were hot and heavy and every candidate did their best to prove that they were the best choice for the position. They wore branded clothes, danced to the latest hit songs, and paraded their families. It was strange to see since the same men never showed any love to their wives, in public at least. Yet, there they were, holding their wives’ hands and showering them with praises. But I guess that was what politics was all about.
Finally, the election period came to a close and things went back to normal.
I was a fresh graduate and had to start looking for a job. It didn’t take long for me to find one. Coincidentally, I landed a job at the office of the Governor as an executive assistant to the Governor himself. He was starting his second term and was looking for a new assistant after the previous one went on maternity leave. Someone tipped me off about the job and I applied without thinking that I would get accepted. However, after going for the interview, the governor took a liking to me and called me the next day to let me know that I had been successful.
As an executive assistant, I worked closely with the Governor and learned a lot about his personal business including his love life. It was safe to say, the Governor was the typical politician who kept a few side chicks around him. I didn’t judge his love life though. After all, I was there to work and not to meddle in his personal life. The girls came in and out of his office with huge smiles and equally huge hips swinging from left to right. The governor definitely had a type. Whenever one of them showed up, the office would go dead silent then we’d give each other looks and chuckle quietly.
“Sally, cancel all my plans for the rest of the day.”
“Sure thing, sir,” I replied.
After a few minutes, the governor emerged from his office with the beautiful lady in his arm. We watched them walk out of the office then everyone erupted.
“That’s part of politics.” Someone commented and everyone joined in the spirited conversation.
I could care less about their opinions on the governor’s affairs. It was nothing new and most of them would do the same if they were in his position. I picked up my bag and headed towards the door, got in a matatu, and went home.
I changed clothes as soon as I got home and got cosy on the couch then turned on the television. Working at the governor’s office made me hate politics even more but it seemed like I couldn’t avoid it no matter where I was. Maybe it was because we were still in the election season but it seemed like every time I turned on the television, there was a politician on the screen.
However, the show was a bit different this time. The moderator was a young, lady with a soft, high-pitched voice. She was the last person anyone expected to have the guts to have a conversation with politicians. She looked almost the same age as I was. So, naturally, the show piqued my interest.
“You have a meeting at 2 pm,” I said to the Governor.
“Okay, Sally. Thank you.”
“And your wife called. She asked you to call her back.”
He changed his face as soon as I mentioned his wife. He always did. I never understood why. She was a sweet lady who checked in on her husband. It was hard to find that kind of love these days but the governor seemed to think otherwise. Whenever I mentioned his wife, it was like I was talking about his arch-enemy.
I had met her once before when she came to the office. She spent a good 15 minutes getting to know me and even gave me career advice. Apparently, she was in politics as well but had to step out of the limelight to let her husband join politics. She came off as a loving, caring woman who any man would be lucky to have as a wife.
When the governor found out she was in the office, he went ballistic on her in front of everyone. He reminded her that she was not supposed to come to his office. Having her pop in the office unannounced was bad for him for obvious reasons but he gave her a lame excuse about his “enemies”. She ate up his excuse and stayed away from the office.
You’d think the least he would do is return her calls but he never did. I simply let him know she called as a routine.
“You’ll attend the meeting.” He let me know. I was happy to attend being that it was the first meeting that I got to attend since I started working for him. I soon realized why.
It was a meeting with a media company that wanted to arrange an interview with the governor. One of the producers at the media company attended accompanied by none other than Harriet, the young journalist whose show I stumbled upon the other day. It felt like I had met a celebrity and I was star-struck the entire time. They arranged a date and I scheduled it in his diary.
As they left, the governor requested the young lady to stay behind for a few minutes.
“I have some things to discuss with you.” He said and we took the cue to leave.
I couldn’t hear what they were discussing but she looked very happy and even laughed a couple of times. The governor can be a charming man when he wanted and he must have taken a liking to the young, vivacious lady.
She came out soon after and joined her colleague. That was the last time we interacted until several weeks later when she called me to confirm whether everything was ready for the interview.
“Yes, I sent you the details of the venue and time in your email.”
“Okay. Thank you.” She replied in the familiar, bubbly voice.
The lady with big hips walked into the office. I hadn’t seen her in a while but I instantly recognized her. She was being trailed by a security guard who tried his best to restrain her. Noticing the commotion, I got up to try and help the young lady.
“It’s okay, Oscar. She’s the Governor’s visitor.”
“Actually, the Governor is the one who told me not to let her come in but she didn’t want to listen to me.”
I tried to act surprised but I wasn’t. This was what he did once he got tired of the lady he was with. Seeing the look of disappointment and shame on the lady, I offered to talk to the Governor and try to change his mind. I welcomed her and she sat at the reception.
After explaining to the Governor that his lady friend was waiting for him, he made it clear that she should never step into the office again.
“Take her out of the office and if she ever comes back I will fire both you and that useless security guard!” he bellowed.
I explained that the Governor was busy and couldn’t see her at the moment. However, she was smart enough to know that he was avoiding her. She stood up as if to leave but turned back to face the Governor’s office.
“You promised that you’d give me a job and now you don’t even pick up my calls.” She yelled. “Your karma is coming!”
That was the last time I ever saw the lady.
They showed up an hour earlier to set up their equipment and settle in. Harriet looked completely different from the stylish, screen siren I had grown to admire. She was in sweatpants and sneakers, clutching a huge water bottle and moving the chairs around for the perfect setup. I watched her for a while before snapping out of the trance. Even in her laidback look, she was still enchanting.
“There’s something special about her,” I said to myself.
That was probably why the governor agreed to an interview with her. Unlike other politicians, he hardly talked to the media. He knew that none can be trusted in politics. However, he must have thought that Harriet was a harmless, young lady who wouldn’t put pressure on him.
We were alerted that they were ready to start the interview and I informed the governor. He came out of his hotel room clad in a navy blue suit and a red tie that stood out against the dark colours.
“You look good, sir.”
“Thanks, Sally.” He said as we walked to the venue.
He smiled when he saw the setup as if approving of it. It was exactly as he liked – simple. A cosy leather chair on one side, a small coffee table in between, and a white two-seater couch on the other side. Harriet had also changed to a navy blue pants suit that almost matched the Governor.
He sat on the couch. I heard a director’s prompt then Harriet welcomed him and took over. I stood at a corner almost inconspicuous and observed the interview for an hour and a half. They talked about politics but it was like they were bosom buddies which was strange behaviour from the type of interviews that Harriet did.
“Thank you so much for your time.” She finished.
“Thank you, Harriet. If you need me again, you know where to find me,” he answered charmingly.
I followed the pair closely behind as they walked shoulder to shoulder whispering to each other. The governor invited her for a late lunch which she accepted. He then instructed me to go back to the office with his laptop. He didn’t return to the office.
A few weeks passed by uneventfully. The office was pretty quiet. As some would say, it was too quiet. None of the governor’s side chicks had come to visit him in a while. We thought that he had reformed and was finally being faithful to his wife. Politics were a bit quiet as well. The election season was long over and the politicians were settling into their roles.
The governor was in his office as he usually was when an angry young woman stormed in. It was hard to identify her since she walked hurriedly towards the governor’s office. However, when she stood to open the door, I saw her. It was Harriet. I hadn’t seen or heard from her since the interview. I hadn’t seen the interview either so I figured her visit had something to do with it.
Since she was a familiar visitor, I didn’t bother to stop her. The governor stood up when he saw her and had a look of worry. She was swinging her hand and pointing her finger which made it obvious that something was wrong.
“Calm down. I can fix it.”
“Do it now. My career is on the line.” She yelled then stormed off.
I went into the governor’s office to make sure everything was alright. However, he brushed off the incident and calmly went back to his work. As I was leaving, he called me back.
“Actually, I might need your help.” He said. “What do you know about Harriet Nyambura?”
“Nothing much, sir. She’s just a journalist.”
“What about her employer?”
“Nothing either. Why?”
“Nothing. I’m just curious. Could you find out everything you can about her employer?”
“Okay,” I answered.
It wasn’t anything new for the governor to request me to investigate someone. It was all part of politics as he needed to be two steps ahead. So, when he asked me to investigate Harriet’s employer, I thought they had some kind of issue. Nothing much came up in the investigation. It was a pretty clean company that simply did its job. However, the governor was not having any of it.
“There must be something wrong with them. Keep checking.”
I did. For the next week, I spent hours calling everybody who has ever worked there to find out anything about them but it all came up short. On Friday, Harriet paid the governor another visit. This time, I strategically stood near the water dispenser to listen to their conversation.
“He fired me,” she said.
“That’s nothing. I’ll get you another job.”
“People will start asking questions. They’ll know that we had an affair.”
I almost dropped my water bottle. Harriet was the last person I expected to have an affair with a politician. She swore her distaste for them. Everything seemed like a lie when I learned she was having an affair with my boss.
The governor moved closer to her to comfort her. He held her in a rare display of affection. After, she calmed down and composed herself.
“We have to silence them,” she said.
“Don’t worry. I’ll make sure nothing leaks.”
“Thank you, love.” She said smiling.
The following day, Harriet announced that she was leaving her job on TV. The governor must have found some dirt on her employer to allow her not only to come back to the office but also go in front of the camera. After she finished her address, she came straight to the office but before she went in, I pulled her aside.
“I know why you got fired.”
She looked shocked but tried to act cool. “I don’t know what you mean.” She said.
“He’s going to use you the same way he used the girls before you,” I warned her. “You better expose him now to bring this to an end. That’s what you used to do – expose politicians.”
“What about my reputation?”
I smiled and said, “I have a plan.”
She talked with the governor briefly and then came to my desk.
“Let’s go for coffee,” I said picking up my bag.
“Well, as I told you, you’re not his first side chick. He changes women every month. I think it’s about time it came to an end.” I started as we settled in the coffee shop.
“There’s nothing I can do, Sally. I’ve already lost my job. I don’t want to lose my dignity as well.
“Fine. I won’t pressure you but you should know that you still have a lot of power. Use it well.”
We finished of coffee and then went our separate ways.
I saw less and less of Harriet as the days progressed. However, she would call me to ask whether the governor was in his office. I’d lie that he wasn’t. After some time, she got the message. She was no longer the new catch. He had another girl. I didn’t receive any calls or messages from her.
Harriet took to social media to express her emotions. She made short video rants calling out an anonymous man who had made her lose her job. She said she lost her job because she had an affair with a married man which left many speculating on the identity of the man. Then, she dropped a hint that the man was into politics. Social media went into a frenzy and she was even trending. Eventually, after a long day and visibly drunk, she blatted out that she was having an affair with the beloved Governor.
Almost immediately, the governor called me.
“Get to the office now!” he commanded.
I knew it was about Harriet so I didn’t bother asking him any questions. I wore the first clothes I saw and booked an Uber to the office. When I got there, the governor was standing with his wife beside him and another man. I greeted both of them and proceeded to my desk.
“Wait, Sally. Did you know anything about this?” his wife asked.
“No. I’m just as surprised as you.”
I thought she was asking about the affair.
“Well, you talked to her that day she got fired.” The governor said.
“She just wanted some reassurance. I took her for coffee and gave her some advice.”
“Can you call her and ask her to come?” his wife requested.
I tried contacting her but her phone went unanswered. We spent almost two hours trying to call her before giving up. The damage had already been done and for the first time, the governor looked worried. He realized there was nothing much he could do.
“We’ll get through it.” his wife said.
She knew about the affairs all along. That was probably why she called in to check on her husband all the time.
The governor called a press briefing the next day to address the issue. He dismissed Harriet as a bitter woman who couldn’t do her job. He even went as far as to call her his enemy in politics. However, over the course of the day, other women came out to say that they had an affair with the governor. It dented his public reputation and people were making memes about him, especially because he always showed himself to be a staunch Christian church elder. The hashtag #LetUsPrey was trending for a couple of days and the church had to come out and strip him of his leadership role. But of course, this wasn’t enough to dent his credibility with many who said: “Men will be men.” But when it was found out he had spent millions of county funds on his women, the public was baying for his blood. They were talking about impeachment.
As for me I had gotten another job and resigned. I was serving my notice. I didn’t want this scandal to taint my name as well.
Harriet called me a week later.
“Thank you for the advice, babe.” She said.
“You’re welcome,” I replied. “Just stay away from politicians.”
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This story first came out as The Hunter Hunts The Prey: The Governor’s Affairs; Love And Politics Don’t Mix Part 1 and Temptations Can Be Your Downfall: The Governor’s Affairs – Love And Politics Don’t Mix Part 2