Ash Wednesday, Ugandan journalist

Monday February 22 2021
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Christine Abia

By Guest Writer

Once upon a time, there lived a desert snake called Toni. It enjoyed the sun, oases and in the night it hissed effortlessly in the cool winds. One day, when the sun rays mercilessly confronted Toni, he wiggled to an Oasis and leaked the fresh waters to his cool aid.

In there, was a Burkina Faso Toureg travelling with gold, animal skins, and fine West Coast tunics to the Mediterranean. When the Toureg saw Toni, he was too scared and started running away! Toni asked if his feet were larger than that of the camel he had abandoned to enable him cross the desert. At this, the Toureg stopped and returned.

Asked why he was crossing the desert, he explained that his once loved uncle Blaise Campoare had gone missing from Ouagadougou and he thought he might find him in the Mediterranean for there was rumour that he had wanted to cross to the white man’s land for ‘greener’ pastures.

Toni said that he was told by a reputable journalist that Blaise Campoare had chosen to go to a neighbour. Toni equally explained that he came to drink water and he was heading back to Sirte to ensure that his only surviving nephew Ghadaffi, the King of kings was safe.

  Toni and the Toureg bonded quickly on a joint mission to first find Toni’s nephew before coming back to the pastoral men of Burkina Faso to locate Blaise.  
Anyone who knows the pain of looking for a missing relative will quickly understand the agony of the two situational friends.

As the sand dunes kept on rising, Doni, the camel with his height advantage spotted a relative carrying a well-dressed man in a spotless white tunic appropriately adorned for the desert.  Doni, hurried towards the man hoping to find someone to talk to.  He neighed to his friend in affirmation of his gratitude to meet a fellow camel in the desert.
What surprised Doni, was that the man in white was not scared of Toni.  

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Toni was quick to ask why the man in spotless white was heading up the Nile. He said he was, a journalist, a wingless angel by God’s design heading to Lake Victoria to inform the rulers of the land that in Egypt, the land where the first human civilisation started, the day’s Pharaoh was toppled by men and women who once believed in him and sung hymns of praise that echoed all through the waters of the Nile. A reminder of an impending similar situation was hovering over the Victorian waters.

Toni, the Toureg and Doni were perplexed! They said to each other, “this is truly a journalist, man of God!’’ They asked him to help them reveal what was ahead of them.
The Angel said,  “go to Sirte, you will find him in a hole (sewage tunnel) carrying a gold pistol which will never save him’’.

At this, Toni started wailing! Doni, asked the angel if he had another holy assignment beyond Lake Victoria. The angel replied, ‘’ I will be heading to Harare.

For God has heard the prayers of his people. He gave the ordinary people land, his family lived in opulence, men and women who sung his praises have toppled him and God is in His final stages of recalling him. I am heading there to give him a message of hope that in the next life, he might be happy.’’

At this there was some human silence but the desert waves blew the angelic tunics to the glory of Doni’s sight. Toni, for a moment stopped wailing and asked if he would return to the shores of Lake Victoria again! Angel, the journalist was affirmative!

He reminded Toni, Doni and the Ouagadougou Toureg that revolutionaries do not retire but the rulers along the path of the Nile had overstayed their welcome and the Victorian gods are complaining. He, however reminded the trio that soon in Uganda another version of ‘beasts of England, beasts of Ireland’ will be retuned.

He quickly reminded them that on Ash Wednesday, the Victorian rulers who fast the truth and rule by deceit will descend on all men and women carrying cameras, dehumanising them to the glory of the demigods of the land. And the wingless angel flew away! What is not clear is if he will meet Presidents Amin and Obote before his third coming to Uganda. No, few of us are united by greed, many separated by the truth!

Ms Christine Abia is a former Woman MP for  Arua.

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