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Baking the Presidential Cake, and Keeping a Finger in the Pie

By Susan Harris

After next Tuesday, many of us in the US may elect to never think about politics again. But if you’re fighting presidential race fatigue, you may catch your second wind from a detour into the Ugandan government captured in Hilda Twongyeirwe’s “Baking the National Cake.” As Minister of the Presidency, the loyal but clear-eyed David covers his boss’s many extended absences, herding the presidential mistresses, concealing personal use and abuse of the presidential jet, and otherwise freeing the president to do anything but, well, preside. Singularly untarred by scandal, “voted the most honest cabinet member in Kabira,” good soldier David is ready and eager to ascend to the presidency himself; but elections have not been held since the president seized power, and the succession plan (“whether the president should name a successor, whether the electorate should vote for potential candidates, whether potential candidates can freely declare their interest, whether the country should remain a one-party state”) remains undetermined. A meeting to discuss the succession looms at 11. Will David’s virtue be its own, and his only, reward? Will the odious vice-president triumph yet again? Are all politics this farcical? You’ll find answers to these and other timely questions in Twongyeirwe’s deadpan portrait.


Published Nov 4, 2016   Copyright 2016 Susan Harris

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