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UGANDA: X-Files from the village – season II

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By Wabuyi Denis


Rain in our community is loved and loathed in equal measure; depending on the timing. As Watenga prays that it doesn’t rain so that he can dry his millet, Wekoye needs it for his beans to sprout. And then we have Watulatsu who makes bricks and never wants rain while Andereya badly wants rain to water his vegetables along Nakunuku river/stream. These conflicts sometimes lead to syndicates and other times to blackmail to deter one another.

We shall never forget when Watulatsu was punished stopping rain and passing it on to Namwalye just because he did not wish for the rain to destroy his bricks and yet other people needed the rain for their maize. We all gathered that day for the hearing that could lead to punitive action against Watulatsu. All the evidence and witnesses had been gathered to pin Watulatsu.

“I saw Watulatsu pick shiwiili) (mortar) and shitsungilo (pestle). He placed the two tools in the compound then got his hoe and dug into the ground. After this, he scattered ashes around the hoe and  the shiwiili. He did this to stop rain from falling in the area where his bricks are located. When the rains came, he summoned his gods which pushed the clouds and they went hovering over Namwenula to Namaloko past Nakunuku and Kolani then to Namwalye where it rained as you all witnessed.” This was told to the gathering by Wekoye who was advocating for Watulatsu to be punished.

It’s paramount that all people; young and old attend such gatherings as this since the outcome means a lot to all. Punishment imposed should set example and be a deterrent against other probable perpetrators.

Watulatsu was asked to defend himself.

“Bebulebe, basale ni bakhwe ngawitsile hano ngana muwulile bino atte mubiyile nga bikhulu nabi. Since time immemorial, we have all had weather situations that we don’t like. To my bamakooki and my fellow elders; you remember in 1983 when the rains refused to come for 6 months. How many people did we drive from this village and how many goats did we sacrifice?” Watulatsu asked in rhetoric and answered himself. “They were many but the rain never came. When Wataka, the great conjurer and rainmaker was summoned to give a final verdict on the situation, what did he say? I hope you’re all listening carefully. The rains finally came but by that time we had driven away from our village more people than those killed by the hunger itself. We banished Wangamati, Watila, Wesonga and Nabumya the wife of Wamono. But when the son of Khatelesi came with government people to distribute food to us when we were all on the verge of perishing, he told us that this hunger was everywhere; in Buganda, Busoga, Bumya, and even worse among the Bateso.”

“Balebe, what did we do about the people that we had banished accusing them of stopping the rain? Did they come return and did we apologise? What followed thereafter? Wasn’t it hailstorms that destroyed all that was left by the sun? Were these storms not followed by locusts which were assisted with tsinguungu (army worms) to destroy what had been planted? I want the sun to dry my bricks but I also need the rain because my beans are just flowering. We should know that these things of rain are now beyond us. Back in the days, our community was small and we would pay for our sins as a village; but now we are a big community. When our army men kill people and annoy God from Kampala (in our accent it is Khambala), even us here in Nakunuku are punished”.

Watulatsu said so many things, he narrated all that he knew but the verdict was GUILT. In respect of his age, he was ordered to bring a goat that we would use to send the drought away to the next village. Wabuswali did some rituals with the goat and a group of elders were selected to beat the goat and drive it to the next village of Namwalye; they sent the drought to Namwalye. On their way back, before they could even reach their homes, clouds had heavily formed in the sky. A very bright lightning struck through the clouds to earth. It was followed by a deafening thunder and rain started immediately. In its course, the rain turned into a storm and rained throughout the night.

It was not until morning that we learnt that Wekoye who had testified against Watulatsu had been struck by the lightening!

Till then, we shall keep you posted

The author, WABUYI DENIS  is an accountant in Mbale.  He writes the X-Files from the village weekly.  He has written a lot about business too.  You should Google him.

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: June 08, 2019 at 10:44PM

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