Celebrating East African Writing!
“No, it can’t be, this can’t be me, not again, please Lord,” his self-pity was engulfing him. Kanga was seated in the empty Kampala coaches’ lobby. The usual hub of activity was no more; everyone was out in the streets drinking in the rumours. The sirens outside were at pitch high like angry chirrups. A well of tears threatened to gush out as he felt his helplessness. More bodies were being pulled out of the hotels and a lump of bile started burning up his throat.
The advert had asked for energetic, graduates to serve as messengers. Having tarmacked unsuccessfully, he had applied and funny enough, was called for an interview and clinched the job. The company explained that it dealt in security apparatus and the information was very sensitive. Being desperate as he was, he saw nothing sinister in handing in his authentic national documents and working under a new name entirely. The old Simon Karuma was gone and in came Carlos Kanga. He happily delivered the first package to a popular hotel in the outskirts of Nairobi little did he know that it was in fact his induction into a deadly odyssey.
“Kanga, we need to emphasize your utmost confidentiality at every point in your job. We pay you well and so, we don’t want you talking about your job out of these walls, is that understood?” the manager of Spec International had been emphatic when he requested to sign contractual documents. The change of didn’t strike him as odd. He however smelt something fishy and the horror of drug cartels manipulating jobless youths started trickling in. When he submitted his resignation letter a few weeks later, Bako’s reaction was swift and cool. He calmly threw a newspaper article on a grenade explosion at the hotel he had delivered a package to a month back,
“Does this look familiar? You happen to have delivered something there and later…boom! Three people died by the way,” the weight of realization hit the young man like a pungent gust from a sewer,
“Sir, what are you saying? You made me…kill innocent people? Why, why? I have to report this” he was frantic and his heart was almost stopping.
“Kanga, I told you, this is a job for strong, get my drift? You and I are now joined at the waist and if you try anything silly…you might be looking at the electric chair!” Bako had a wry smile but the evil beneath was obvious.
“And now, I have some packages which you are to deliver to Kampala Uganda, such a good town, are you watching the final game by any chance?”
“Why me, lord? What to do? Wait for another delivery and shed more blood? Mahutini Hotel, Uhuru Park and now this?”As Kanga thought of Bako waiting for him back in Nairobi, he wished he had died in the blasts instead of killing innocent football fans.
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