Commentary

A year in a Kenyan prison is worse than 27 in SA jail

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By Joachim Buwembo

Posted  Sunday, December 15  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

The Kenyan jailers were far more sadistic than the Boers. Among the many creative ways they treated Matiba, his lawyer said they would serve him a meal and then have a lunatic throw human fecal matter at him through the cell bars as he tried to eat. Can the people who jailed Matiba sincerely mourn Madiba?”

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When I went downstairs to pick some coffee from the kitchen, I passed the people in the living room watching SABC channel, my emotional maid weeping freely with the mourning South Africans. Between sobs and sniffs she said,
“I am glad we in Uganda decided long ago to make a fitting monument for him at Namboole.”

“Whatever you mean by fitting,” commented the minister’s maid without taking her eyes off the screen. “If putting the great man’s name on a poorly maintained structure which stinks due to poor sanitation is a way of showing respect, then maybe it is fitting.”
“But you, when will you ever appreciate our leaders’ efforts?” asked my maid in fury.

“Okay, okay, I appreciate our leaders,” the minister’s maid soothingly consoled her friend. “Especially the local ones with jurisdiction over the area where Mandela Stadium is located. We should appreciate them for abetting the stealing of the stadium’s land so that the original plan cannot be completed as the space is now occupied by their commercial buildings. I didn’t know Mandela stood for land grabbing.”

“Do you expect everything to be perfect?” queried her friend in disappointment.

“No, I don’t,” answered the minister’s maid. “But people who set out deliberately to make things imperfect should stop mocking Mandela’s name by pretending to mourn him while they oppose the justice that he fought for.”
“Now who is pretending to mourn?” The disappointment was still clear in my sobbing maid’s voice.

“Africans who mistreat fellow Africans are worse than the bazungu who imprisoned Nelson Mandela,” responded the minister’s maid without hesitation. “You have been seeing that clip of the man emerging from prison after 27 years, full of life. If that prison had been managed some people on this continent, would he have sprang out that fit? My boss yesterday told us of a wealthy minister who was also almost called Madiba in Kenya. His exact name was Matiba and he was extremely fit, climbing to the top of Mount Kenya every month for fun and charity. When he said something about democracy, he was put in a Kenyan prison for just one year, but upon being released he had become a vegetable.

The Kenyan jailers were far more sadistic than the Boers. Among the many creative ways they treated Matiba, his lawyer said they would serve him a meal and then have a lunatic throw human fecal matter at him through the cell bars as he tried to eat. Can the people who jailed Matiba sincerely mourn Madiba?”

“I haven’t heard about your Matiba and his fecal tinted lunches,” said my maid. “Why don’t you talk about people I know about?”
“Okay, you heard about the late Robina Kiyingi case,” said the minister’s maid.
“Of course, who didn’t?” responded my maid.

“Good, the two top suspects were a rich man and a poor man” recounted the minister’s maid. “After a few weeks in prison as they stood trial, the rich man emerged okay and not guilty while the poorer, fitter suspect deteriorated and died vomiting blood in prison. Recently, a top government pathologist disclosed that the fellow was given a poisoned lunch. He was less lucky than the Kenyan Madiba sijui Matiba, whose lunch only had bits of somebody’s else’s rotten digestive waste. Don’t you think dead suspect’s family wish he had been in the custody of the bad racist South Africans instead of his fellow Ugandans?”

“So who are you blaming now?”
“Nobody,” answered the maid. “I am just saying that if Mandela had been entrusted to Luzira prison authorities, then apartheid agents would probably have poisoned him twenty-seven times though once would have been enough to kill him. While it is highly likely that the poisoned suspect actually shot Robinah Kiyingi, he was busy pleading not guilty when some people decided to execute him before his trial ended, while Mandela refused to renounce violence against the racists who decided to preserve his life.

So I am saying prison officials who were guarding the Robinah Kiyingi suspect should not open their mouths to mourn Mandela because theirs would be crocodile tears, knowing that Madiba would not have survived under their care for 27 years, or even 27 days. And the Wakiso district officials who have chopped plots off Mandela Stadium land to fatten their stomachs should also not pretend to mourn Madiba.”

I noticed my coffee was getting cold as I listened to the angry maid, so I walked off back to my study.

buwembo@gmail.com