How Wife Kept Incarceration of Jailed Hubby Secret from Children for Over 14 Months




By Markson Omagor


My cathetered neighbor apologized to us his neighbours first thing in the morning. I was really bitter that I had nearly been showered with adult human urine! But as is decorum, I accepted the apology since it was said in good faith. I however conditioned him to wash my beddings and also take out my mattress for drying. We then moved out for the routine Day’s Labour parade after a successful lock-up. On my way back from the Labour Parade, I met him with my beddings en- route washing. I felt pity though.


That Friday was not a visitation Day, so I was very surprised when ‘Radio’ sent Makwasi to tell me I was needed at the Reception. I was tempted to think that transport had been arranged for me to be taken back to Malukhu in Mbale to serve my sentence as I had requested earlier. However when I reached the Reception, RP Gate told me it wasn’t me they wanted but a certain Dickens working with the Carpentry Party.

I turned back disappointed, but unaware of my feelings the same RP Gate, asked me to look out for a one Acaitum with orders of reporting to him immediately. Not wanting to get into trouble with my supervisors, I searched and searched until I finally landed on Acaitum at C7, my neighborhood.


After the afternoon lock-up, I again bumped into Acaitum in the corridors of C Block. To pass time, I asked him about any developments.

“Haaa, I was needed by a certain Nursing Officer, by the way she also comes from Serere. She had a message for me from my wife,” he said.


I did not press him to share with me the private message from his wife but he surely saw that I needed him to continue talking. So he told me this story.


“You see, we have a village mate who has been in prison here for 14 months also over abuse of office and causing financial loss,” he begun.


“Oh, so we quiet many here?” I asked.


“Yes, the Anti-corruption court has really put many civil servants behind bars. Now for this guy, his wife felt too ashamed to let their children know that their father had been jailed for stealing government money,” Acaitum continued with his narrative occasioned by some giggles.


“Now the wife’s challenge was explaining to the children where their father was. So every time the kids asked, she told them he was somewhere and doing fine. This constant lie became unsustainable with the last born who had completed his PLE going on a hunger strike,”


By now Acaitum had really attracted my interest and I was following the story more keenly.


“So how did she handle the impasse?” I asked.


“You see the boy was very determined to keep up the hunger strike until their mother showed them the father. After only two days, she gave in and told them the truth. However, that was also not enough, they wanted to see him.”


“So did she carry all of them to Luzira?” I asked again.


“Oh yes. She carried all of them here and to their surprise, the children were so happy to see their father and told off their mother, that she did a bad thing to keep the truth away from them.”


We then started dissecting the story, looking at the pros and cons and generally came to an agreement that the wife’s action may have been in good faith but was detrimental to mental health of the children.


Acaitum then told me his own story.


Acaitum said he was serving 7 years imprisonment innocently for allegedly stealing company cash. Acaitum intimated to me that the cash was actually stolen by his colleague who after the heist disappeared and had not been arrested till then. His was among the many stories of innocents serving jail terms for offences they had not committed.


Then the Gong sounded followed by a chorus of ‘Yingia daani’ commands by Block RPs. We parted ways, each to his Ward to witness the passing of yet another day. In prison, every passing day is celebrated the way a birth of a child is celebrated. I found Ochan, my friend waiting to revenge on the previous day’s loss of Ludo to me.


Would you support or blame the wife for hiding the imprisonment of her husband from their children?

Please leave your comments below.

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