Do You Know Me?

Tuesday, August 04, 2015
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DO YOU KNOW ME?

Reports had it that relief food was not reaching the internally displaced persons. These were those who had been displaced due to the ethnical violence in the country. They had lived a Dickensian life in the camp for a decade. Promises of resettling them were all unfulfilled. There was a time when they were told to go back to their homes. But where were they to go? Their houses had been destroyed and property looted. Ten years ago. So, perhaps destiny had it that the poor would die in the camp. Had they not lost relatives due to water-borne and air-borne illnesses?

“This issue of missing food is so sad!” the county representative said. “We shall look into it in due course and those accountable will be dealt with accordingly. This is so sad! And gross!”

She kept saying the same again and again but nothing visible was done. Hers were vague sentiments that held no water. The affected thought that the previous method of distributing food was far much better than the one at the moment. In the previous method, a helicopter would hover over the camp dropping sacks of maize at various points. Then the IDP’s would scramble for the same. Some missed the food but it was far much better than the current system. About two thirds missed food. Reason? Someone was having the lion’s share. And the third that got the food had no guarantee of getting it. It was reported that at that time, the whole camp went hungry.

“Who could be doing this?” asked Mzee. An old man whose head was grayer than the gray color.

“Whoever the person is we shall catch him,” a determined ten year old girl replied.

“How?”

“Nobody stuffs himself on a plateful of beans and expects not to pass gas,” came the wisdom of the young girl.

“True my daughter.”

★★★★★

The air in the camp was choking hot. The weather had changed for good. It had been observed that a man had been spotted in Kitale selling relief food. The food which was to feed the famished people at the camp. The IDP’s were mad. That this was happening with the knowledge of the CR, county representative, and she did nothing. And it had not just started the previous day. The man had been selling the same for around two years.

“Why?” Mzee asked amid the noise of the demonstrating IDP's that were now in the CR’s compound.

“And it is also said that you only give food to the people you know. Other tribes do not get food at the camp. The man is also your relative,” a wise lady threw her arrows right in the CR’s chest.

“I … I …”

The CR did not finish what she was to say. What was she to say, anyway? Crude and sharp weapons had landed on her and her body had no option but to rest in pieces. That was the last day she saw the sun.

★★★★★

Adapted from
Man of The Cloth and Other Stories
An Anthology of Short Stories
by Brady Kenya
©2014
First Edition

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