The chief administrative officer of Abim district told members of parliament recently that termites had eaten vouchers accounting for 900 million shillings. I think it was unfair to drop such information on the MPs unceremoniously; for news like that, a press conference followed by a huge feast are in order. These were clearly well-read termites that knew, probably from poring over Chinua Achebe’s No Longer At Ease, that “If you want to eat a toad (or vouchers) you look for a fat and juicy one”. No one’s taking time to investigate the termites (maybe because they have big heads so they won’t come in for questioning) but I’ll save the police some work by using some rudimentary crime-solving skills acquired from Google searches.

First off, to get away with that much loot, these termites had to have had someone on the inside. This person fed them information on where the loot was and then found creative ways to distract his (or her) colleagues over the days that the lawless insects were at work. I’m not sure how they distracted everyone but if I were forced to guess, I’d say they asked everyone at work to participate in a talent show. While everyone showed off their talents in one room, The Mandible Gang (that’s the code name for the termites in this case file) bit their way through those vouchers.

The villain, playing dead
The villain, playing dead

How do we identify this person who aided and abated The Mandible Gang? You are looking for someone who usually hangs out near mounds (or ant hills). Also, they usually have conversations with themselves (in reality though, they are speaking to termites but we just don’t see them).

Some bits of this case are still a mystery, even for me. Why did The Mandible Gang only go after vouchers and stay away from other equally delectable pieces of paper like termination letters and letters communicating salary deductions?

Why did they do it? Was it some form of protest? Was it Christmas in termite land and they were feasting? Do they have something against civil servants? Were they paid by someone?

It is my earnest hope that this information will be used to bring these pirates to book otherwise it may become a trend. They should be locked up in bottles in prison for a while then released for our scientists to study them and see if we can deploy them against our enemies.

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