Chapter 9: Betrayal
I bade the chief goodbye with my countenance beaming with confidence. Anger, though was also evident in my eyes. “How could one man do all that evil to people he is related to by blood. It is high time Mzee Ayan’s sins caught up with him. Despite being forgiven, he still has the audacity to go back to his old self. Surely, you cannot bend fish that has been dried in the sun.” I concluded.
I was now on the southern stretch approaching our rendezvous when I saw three familiar faces on the other side of the expansive field overlooking the mountain. They were talking in low tones but laughing loudly and sarcastically. “So, Mzee Ayan, Moti and wait, Nyundo are a team! For a moment, I thought my eyes were deceiving me. After all, Nyundo is still alive but what was he doing with those dimwits.” “Nyundo.” I called him out. He stared at me but then continued to talk in low tones with his new found friends. Suddenly, they again burst into laughter. This time they were pointing at me. I was really tickling their funny bone although I could not tell what the joke was all about. “This cannot be the same Nyundo I have known for the past seven years,” I tried to console myself. “ I must try and bring him back to his senses or at least, separate him from the two enemies,” I said to myself. Little did I know that the sarcastic laughter was because they ‘had taken the wind out of my sails.’ I tried to summon Nyundo one last time but he declined to heed. “You will not use us any more,” was the answer I got from him. I soldiered on and went to our mountain rendezvous. What I saw really shuttered my hope for a united RRA. Only a handful of soldiers were waiting for me and they were low in spirits. I asked them what was the problem? The answer I got from one of them was that I was only interested in using them, get married to Enaan and then wait for my reign to begin without rewarding loyal men who have fought and stood by me. Worse still, some have even sacrificed their lives for our land. “Afande, you only visit the chief’s court if not alone, with only your father Wepesi who is too frail and too old to lift even a ‘rungu’ (traditional club) leave alone a gun,” continued the foot soldier. “And who are you, if I may ask,” I questioned the soldier. “You see, Nyundo was right – he doesn’t even care to know our names. Do you think he will send out troops to rescue us if we are captured?” He asked his colleagues. I was speechless as they murmured amongst themselves. The name afande did not amuse me. I hated being addressed by that title because of the connotations it invokes. It means a leader but I find it too chauvinistic. Suddenly, they all stood up and there left the last group of my troops. One man though was left behind and his eyes were permanently fixed to the ground. He then broke the silence as I was still lost in contemplation and trying to come to terms with the situation at hand. “Afande, why can’t you hypnotize them and make them fight for you again?” He inquired. “I cannot do that you know, in fact, they are not fighting for me. They are fighting for our mothers, sisters, children, the elders and the entire RRA,” I corrected him. “And what is your good name,” I asked him. “My name is Giko and I will not desert my community. Neither will I stop fighting for what is right. I will stay with you afande to my death.” He reassured me. On my part, I thanked him a lot and requested that he desist from using that title when addressing me. It is just the two of us now, so let us make the bond tighter, no more red tapes.