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The Law Of Unintended Consequences And
Unexpected Paternity In A Foreign Country!

Coastweek -- We must all have cases that happened to us, that we know or were witness to where an action led to some additional consequences that were different from the original intent of the action, writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.

These range from the mundane to the bizarre.

Some consequences happen immediately and others have an impact much later.

Some are permanent and other temporary.

Some can be reversed and others are irreversible.

Kachumbari was sitting at his favourite corner in the bar at one of the golf clubs in town after a round of the game on a Sunday afternoon.

As usual he was surrounded by his cronies and they were each quaffing their favourite tipple.

They had arranged to play as a group and decided they would order lunch as well.

I was in the group having been invited by Kachumbari to join them.

As the drink began to take effect late in the afternoon, the topic of conversation drifted from the flavour of the week – demolitions and the now infamous “green monster” or Sany – to things that went wrong on the golf course.

Examples were given and most were actions that led to unintended consequences.

One example was when one of the team went to play a golf ball that had landed in a sand trap (or bunker for the golfing fraternity).

The player set himself up for the shot which was fortunately for him on an upslope in the bunker.

The slope was a bit severe.

The player did the standard set up by shuffling his feet in the sand in order to create a firm base.

He then went ahead and set himself up then took a few swings in the air to prepare for his shot.

He addressed the ball ready to strike, took his back swing and then took a swing at the ball.

He missed the ball completely and the momentum that he had generated in the swing, which had now not been used in striking the ball, led to the club leaving his hand, sailing forward and striking one of his fellow players before landing on the ground.

Fortunately, a lot of the energy had been expended in the flight of the golf club and the damage inflicted on the other player was not significant.

One of the team gave the example of a friend of his from Kenya who went visiting in London. During his stay he was taken to a party by his host.

It was a large boisterous event with plenty of people in the trend and youthful too.

Most of the people, including the Kenyan visitor were in their mid-twenties to late thirties.

As the party went on the Kenyan lad got cosy with a very curious English lass.

They had plenty to eat and drink and got talking over a wide range of subjects as well as interacting with the party crowd. 

One thing led to another and before they know it, they ended up at the lady’s apartment for a one night romp.

Waking up the following morning, the Kenyan lad having sown his oats, left the place with a promise to come back later in the day and continue making better acquaintance.

They would then get their contacts and more information.

On getting back to his host’s place, he was told that there had been a bereavement at one of his close relative’s homes and he was wanted back in Kenya.

He had to leave that day and in making his preparations and with all the communication he had to make he completely forgot about the agreements that he had made with the English lass and left the country.

He did not have to return to the UK then but did so for four years later to take up a job and when he did, he decided on the off chance to look up the lass that he had met at the party on his last visit.

He was hoping to pick up from where they had left now that he was going to be in the country for a longer time.

He decided to work his way as he could best remember to the location where her apartment should have been.

He knew the street name but that was all he could remember.

He went from memory rather than using the normal address and came to familiar territory.

He saw what he thought was the apartment block and made his way there.

After asking around a bit he was eventually shown to the apartment that seemed to belong to the person fitting his description.

He rang the door bell and after a few minutes the door opened and he saw a familiar face.

It was indeed the lass he met up with at the party. She looked fuller and was very cautious in her greetings.

After establishing his bona fide, she let him into her apartment.

As he went to sit, the Kenyan lad was nearly bowled over by a very happy dog that came bounding into eth room and in a hurry to greet the new arrival in the apartment.

As he was being settled with a cup of tea and some biscuits and some small conversation the conversation was disturbed by a loud protesting shriek.

The lady left the room and came back with a baby and proceeded to put the baby in a small cot in the corner of the living area.

The Kenyan lad went cold and began to wonder whether he had made the right decision by walking into a married woman’s house.

There was no obvious sign of a male occupant but with a baby, he assumed that she was married. He made small talk and was trying to work up a get out line when the lass asked how much time he had. 

He said he had an engagement in another two hours but wanted to pass by a shop to collect some material before the engagement.

She said she had a few things to do as well but wanted to catch up quickly before he left.

She then gave him the full works.

The fact that she was still single and had conceived soon after their encounter and was convinced that the baby was his because of his complexion.

She averred that she had not made contact with anyone with dark complexion before and after their encounter.

Because of eth way they parted, not having exchanged contacts, she had not known how to get hold of him and all attempts to make connections from the large crowd that was the party drew blanks.

This was the start of a very intense discussion that is still going on about six months later.

The two young people are still trying to get to terms with their situation and work out what to do since they were both about to start a new chapter in their lives.

However, this was just another case of unintended consequences but this with more serious repercussions for the players in the story.

What do these two episodes mean for motorists?

It means that our actions, or lack of action, on the road and especially when they are not in observance of the expected behaviour on the roads can have unintended consequences.

Some may be minor – like making someone else brake suddenly or take evasive actions with the resulting rush of blood and elevated heartbeats.

Others may have more serious consequences such as permanent disability or even death.

We need to very clearly think our actions through before we take them.

We need to follow the law and rules so that we are shielded from others’ errors.

Unintended consequences are lurking in every corner but when one is on the road with all this machinery hurtling around, the outcomes are riskier than in other settings

As Kachumbari says, safe and responsible driving will reduce the chances of actions that lead to unintended consequences.

 

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