By: Diana Egesa
This is me sitting by the stream.
The breeze gently sweeping along bringing with it peace I’ve not known for quite some time. The quietness rather too reassuring and I wonder, Will there come a time when such peace will be known by all?
Watching the water flow cuts short peaceful thoughts. So here comes a replay of images I’d do anything to forget,
Blood, before me is blood flowing. By the banks are not reeds anymore those are dreadlocks.. the men in dreadlocks on the fateful day. Standing right in front of me (silent in my hiding place) and I am helpless. From afar I can hear screams and skelters from various surrounding homesteads. Is that not mama Amani?
Oh poor mother screaming at the top of her lungs. Questioning why the adorable six month Amani had to be clobbered. She even questions why she couldn’t be beaten instead. She wonders what will become of innocent Amani because the nurses in the local dispensary are not working. They’ve been striking for far too long now.
Who then will attend to Amani?
No one can do a thing about it. I feel like screaming out the unfairness in that but I can’t even move. I fear breathing, lest my presence is felt.
They say they have attacked us because we are of a darker shade. They add that our language is different from theirs.
Does this mean we are inferior?
Mr. Mwanga should be here to explain to them as he did in the history class. Did he not say that the constitution of the land allows for democracy and respect of opinion? Did he not say that everyone is equal according to the law?
I remember he mentioned that we have diversity in language and that no one chose the region to be born from. Yes he said it is nature and that respecting nature means respecting life.
Maybe that was only taught this side?
Seemingly those of a lighter shade than us were told we are worthless; That we deserve to die and are not eligible to hold any positions in the government? I hear they threatened and insulted our neighbours. Saying they’re their watchmen and if they go against them they’ll be fired.
I’ve been crouching under this chair for close to an hour now. My body is aching but surely it’s all I can do to save my life. Before me are a multiple lifeless bodies. I want to scream and let this pain out. I want to shout and reassure them that I shall live to fight for liberation from these pangs of injustices,
Will they even hear?
Thirty means the screams die, the men have been ferried by a rather familiar van maybe taken to another location? The blood that has been flowing a bit thicker now; drying up
I’m left to question God
Why this had to happen right in front of me?
In such a beautiful land, once so glorious, with a dwindling economy, extrajudicial killings, corruption cases in high government offices quite the opposite now. Sad state of affairs
Days later the government representative talks about this. He says no such thing happened (sic)
He says what happened was a peaceful confrontation and that no one was hurt. They even threatened that if citizens went on complaining the little security detail left would be taken away . He went ahead to say that its the citizens who were disturbing the government.
Did I mention that some families collected bodies of their loved ones from the nearby Lake?
I think they were lying because the government representative said no one died.
Jotted back to reality by the chirping of birds; Why are they so happy? Drying my tears I look straight to the horizon, the Sun is setting, such a beautiful sight to behold. Maybe they’re loving the same. My spirit is charged up, maybe one day we are going to be free as the birds. That we’ll be dancing too and singing to welcome dusk with excitement and joy rather than fear of the unknown.
My eyes are drawn back to the water flowing before me. Particularly interested in this log that’s being washed away. It gets stuck at some point but the force from the water overpowers it and it is swept away with speed. With this comes a remembrance of words by the great John Lennon,
“THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER. ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS AWAKEN THE POWER IN THE PEOPLE”
Like the water did, to sweep away logs so will the people’s power……….