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Washimwamwa called forward the 5 suspects and showed them the magic stick wrapped in a banana fibre. “I am going to place this stick in front of Wandulu’s kraal. “If you deny having a hand in stealing his bull, you should jump over the medicine. After a day, the innocent will be fine. If you had a hand in the theft or you actually stole you will turn into behaving like a cow and start eating grass”. Washimwamwa is a famous traditional doctor from Bukibokolo or Bushika, I don’t know exactly but somewhere from the mountains in Bududa. In fact it’s “mayi Umuwakoko” who brought him claiming he can never fail to catch a thief, even the “cooked ones” like Khaukha umutekhe.

It is said that Khaukha umutekhe has been cooked from the coast and once one has been cooked, they can turn into a cat, snake or dog to evade arrest and detection. That is how Khaukha has managed to evade arrest. They say that when Khaukha steals from you, he will even ask for your (victim) assistance in carrying the property that he has stolen from you. That is why we call him “umutekhe”. The only uniqueness about Khaukha is that he never steals from home; no. He says there is nothing worthy stealing in the village. He therefore goes to farther places like Buwabwala, Busukuya and Bukigai. If not, he stages a road block in Kimwanga. Khaukha is so feared that one time when they sent the Police to arrest him for staging a road block, the police hid their guns, went home to sleep and only reached the scene at 10 am the next day.

Wambani came first; he jumped over the stick to the other side. He was followed by Wonyama who also jumped over but not after grumbling and asking why he should be treated like a thief when the only time he was caught in Wanyenya’s banana plantation was because he was hungry and did not know the boundary that separated his father’s plantation from that of Wanyenya. He jumped anyway. Next was Wambatabata. He postured as if to jump but took two steps behind. People formed a ring around to prevent him from running away. Therefore Wetonyi jumped but Wambatabata and Wangamati refused. Since he was standing just next to the stick, “mayi umuwakoko’ came from behind and pushed Wambataba unexpectedly. When he skipped it, the crowd cheered. Wangamati was also forced to jump and the ritual ended.

At least we had expected the medicine to start working immediately or a day after but there is no sign that these things will work. “On top of my bull I have now lost a goat. This woman of Bawakoko can never be trusted” Wandulu lamented. Before the ritual, Washimwamwa had slaughtered a black goat, carried the heart and the liver.

Wambatabata was even bragging how they will come back for the remaining cows of Wandulu at night but he was drunk anyway.

In the morning, we awoke to the noise of Wambatabata. Last night, we had thought it to be the alcohol that he had taken but it could not last dusk till dawn. By midday, he was moving around on all his fours. People started gathering to witness Washimwamwa’s magic. In the evening, Wambatabata started mooing like a cow to the amusement of the villagers. He then started eating grass;

“You children had never seen this in your lifetime but now see for yourselves, if Washimwamwa does not reach here in time, this boy is going to die”. Father said.
“Father, even Wangamati has started acting weird, could it be the same?”
We all rushed to Pesweli’s house to confirm.
“What has befallen our village?”

Till then we shall keep you posted!


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