And when the bullets began to flower, Tuu taa tuu tuu taa taa, we still marched forward. The iron smelters had done their work perfect, pangas swished and speared whispered. Not even the sight of red stopped us; we were tired of living like we didn’t belong here. What magic lay in their bodies? The men in uniform were puzzled. No bullet seems to penetrate their bodies, those people of the mountain are really the witches and wizards they have always said they are.
Biira, never at one time was she a weakling, she never gave in to pressure even she was lured to work with the enemy, with a promise of a huge reward, If she convinced her pack of unpatriotic men to ceasefire. Handcuffed, she still sang her war song believing this was just the start. She knew what she was getting into when she agreed to that oath in the dark night in the bush, the blood and the coffee beans; the initiation where she gladly bore the sweet pain, she was stepping into the shoes of never-going-back on my words. All of them had sworn to brotherhood, for the land, for Omusinga, they fought for a cause.
But then Judas, In need of silver coins, let out what was meant to be clandestine; the secret. What had been discussed in the dark came to light, man as man, had failed another man, the betrayal.
The men in uniform more determined than ever meant to wipe out the illiterate unpatriotic traitors of Ekyithaka. Bullets fell like torrent rains across the equator, even those that had sought refuge in the palace where grilled like fish on the Edward shores, our people died, men, women and children. And they won for there were no more falling bullets, but rather falling bodies in heaps and promotion of ranks, a true reward.
In the dungeon, commander Biira slowly lost it, still shouting her war song. The cuts of a slow poison gnawed at her inside and at last, joined her ancestors leaving the rest of us to achieve what she had picked from our long gone freedom fighters, Isaya Mukirani and Kawamara. And an unknown number of our kinsmen have lost their lives in prison, their children orphaned, many widows and widowers and the ones still alive await trail up till now. What a democratic country, Uganda is?
Omusinga – the king of the mountain tribe, the Bakonzo.
Kabugho Immaculate is a 27-year-old Ugandan. She is a schoolteacher and was shortlisted in the Our Stories Redefined African Anthology for 2023. She’s huge on culture and tradition.