‘Good morning Dollar,’ I said, ‘How are you this morning?’

‘Kalaki!’ she said, as she rose from her huge red velvet sofa to greet me, ‘I haven’t seen you for ages. What have I done to deserve this pleasure?’

I had bravely come to visit the insatiable man-eater, the famous Dollar Sillier. ‘I’ve come to give you this little present,’ I said as I gave her a little kiss on each cheek, and then put a neatly packaged present on the coffee table.

‘Oh goodee,’ she laughed, as she settled back on the sofa and wrapped her pink silk dressing gown modestly around her ample curves. ‘You know I have always had an insatiable appetite for delicious gifts, and I always appreciate the tickle of your little beard.’

‘Gifts,’ I said, as I retreated strategically to an armchair, ‘are exactly what I came here to talk about. I’m writing an article on the propriety of exchange of gifts between heads of state, and I wondered if you if you could elaborate on your defense of King Jameson Kadansa when he exhibited his famous humility by humbly accepting the gift of a palace in eSwatini.’

‘Or humbly accepting the gift of a woman in a pink dressing gown.’

‘Let’s first deal with the issue of the palace in eSwatini,’ I said, ‘and after that we’ll see if we can unravel the problem of the pink dressing gown.’

‘Ooh you naughty boy,’ she said, ‘I know what you’ve really come for. All you men are the same.’

‘First the palace in eSwatini,’ I said firmly.

‘Well there’s not much to be said about that,’ she laughed. ‘When it was found that King Jameson had accepted a palace in eSwatini as a gift, I just explained to the nation that the exchange of gifts between kings is a long diplomatic tradition that cements friendship between our countries.’

‘That’s why I’ve come for a further explanation,’ I said. ‘Surely if a king accepts presents in the name of the people then the present becomes the property of the people.’

‘Oh really Kalaki, you’re getting yourself in a muddle. It is the people who give gifts to their king, not the other way round. The king is a gift from God, and we give gifts to our king to show our gratitude to God.’

‘Half a minute,’ I said, ‘our King is not a gift from God, he is chosen by the people.’

‘God’s will is realized when the people choose the king,’ explained Dollar. ‘God guides their hearts and their heads so that they do not vote for the enemies of the King. So the king is actually chosen by God.’

‘Oh come on, Dollar. The Constitution says that the King is elected by the people, it doesn’t say anything about being chosen by God.’

‘That’s where you’re wrong,’ laughed Dollar, ‘you obviously haven’t read the Constitution. The Preamble makes very explicit that all the provisions of the Constitution must be interpreted according to Christian values and principles, which are centered on the belief that we all have to follow the will of God. Your problem, my dear Kalaki, is that you have got yourself in this constitutional muddle because you don’t believe in God.’

‘But do you still believe that it was right for King Jameson to keep the palace all for himself when it was revealed that it was not given to him by King Mswati but by the Ching Chang Construction Company?’

‘Look, Kalaki, whether the King Jameson received the palace from King Mswati or Ching Chang is immaterial to the question of whether a king has a God-given right to receive gifts. Having been appointed by God, a king has the right to do as he pleases.’

‘Even when Ching Chang was proved to be a gang of international crooks?’

‘The Lord works in mysterious ways.’

‘But now, all these years after the High Court sentenced you to ten years in jail for disseminating false information, d’you still think you were right to defend the divine right of kings to do as they please?’

‘Well, Kalaki, I suppose you’ve noticed that it was only after the coup d’etat that it became wrong for the previous king to have done as he pleased, but it remains right for the present King Kabala to do as he pleases.’

‘Ha ha, Dollar, you’ve got a good point there. But tell me, are you comfortable here in Mukobeko?’

‘Well, they’ve given me this very nice VIP room so that I can still entertain visitors on my lovely red velvet sofa. But let me now have a look at this present you’ve brought me.’

So saying, she leant towards the coffee table and began unwrapping the present. ‘Ooh, my favourite! Chicken and chips! She leant forward for my hand to say thank-you, and then pulled me towards her and onto the sofa, flinging her arms around me as the flimsy dressing gown fell from her shoulders. Just then I heard a key turn in the lock, and in came the warder. ‘Your thirty minutes are up sir, it’s time to leave.’

‘You arrived just in time,’ I said to the warder as we walked back down the corridor. ‘She nearly ate me instead of the chicken and chips.’

‘She’s a bit deranged,’ said the warder. ‘She probably thought you were a gift from God.’