By Markson Omagor
Perhaps the biggest change life can have on a long term prisoner is increased love for his wife. On not limited occasions have I had men talk with relish on how they would want to go back to their homes and show their wives love. Most of them are short of plans on how to show that Love.
Should I take my wife out for pork that day? But the outing will eat into our quality time. What if she is in her periods, what should I do? Go for another woman? No! Surely no. Should I take her to a beach? A zoo? Where? Ultimately it’s a honeymoon in various colours that these five men in yellow are talking of.
So I ask myself, is it the lack of sex here that causes these men to fancy and love their wives this much? Is it the thought of their wives single-handedly toiling to feed, treat and protect their children that causes this? If it was just sex, why are these men not talking of their girlfriends or why do they not talk of getting young fresh girls? Had it been just sex!
Then there’s this soldier, he should have had his case dismissed on appeal on Monday 26th but he has moved to court till Wednesday and he is still in prison. On Sunday, the day before Monday, he told me like he told many that he would be home the day next. The Thursday he did not go to court, he kept indoors the whole day, in pain! Today, Friday, he came out. He was talking, he was laughing and discussing with friends.
He hopped (because that is how he walks using one crutch stick) to our work place, Printery and we started off a conversation. Ultimately it apexes with the wife topic. He swore, his gaze fixed at the red tiled buildings of Namuwongo overlooking Murchison Bay prisons, that this day, he should have been at home. Only him and his wife in their house, his wife dressed on a see-through night dress only. His wife should have asked for at least a one week’s leave. To be sure that he would be near perfect, he would smoke Bhangi (marijuana) just to be able to have a marathon, a sleepless marathon. Then he kept quiet. When he spoke again, it was after two minutes and he said;
“Only God know when I will go back home…….”
Realizing the onset of emotions, we tactfully changed the topic and then talked of pork, talked of Nankulabye, Ntinda and Cave Inn. And so it was wife, pork, booze and others in that order. Eric, our soldier friend had just almost been there and yet now he was back into the yellow garments again, into dreams and the excruciating missing love.
This evening am feeling easy –easy. Just finished taking my bath, actually just cheated water. A few times the tap had run dry before I got the evening shower, forcing me into sweltering nights buzzed by ever excited mosquitoes- happy that you can’t after all avoid them because you can’t cover yourself.
This day, soon after entering the Ward for the night that begins at 4:00pm, I collected water in my basin aware that any eventuality is possible. Indeed after lock up, when I went for a shower, the tap had run dry but my hay was well stored.
Feeling easy-easy in prison is a God blessing because it’s not always that a prisoner is in good moods. Why I felt easy today I do not know; even the month is not half way and therefore providing no reason for celebrations. But yesterday, a close friend and a kid brother to one of my former workmates was granted bail.
Oxxxu (Name withheld for privacy reasons) was in the magistrate’s court acquitted of soliciting and taking a bribe. The IGG appealed against this acquittal in the high court of the Anti-corruption court. He was found guilty, the ruling of the lower court was quashed and a sentence of three years was slapped upon Mr. Oxxxu. Surprised, disappointed and unbelieving, he appealed to the court of appeal.
Meanwhile awaiting this appeal, he applied for bail and was thus granted. That was good news for me, knowing the pain that is to be incarcerated, I was just too happy for him to get some freedom however, short-lived. At least for that period, he will be able to breathe the air of freedom, taste the delicacies that come with the comfort of a loving wife, a loving home and friends – real friends.
Then his brother, my former workmate decided to pay me a visit. Oh! What a surprise. When I peeped through the reception room and I saw him slopping knowing his brother had left prison, I knew he had come to see me. I was profoundly exhilarated. He off course felt sorry for me but encouraged me to soldier on saying after all the months were slowly slipping away. He too, told me I was lucky to get away with one year’s sentence and that I was wise not to appeal. Words of encouragement they were. When then he handed to me sugar, bread and washing soap with ten thousand shillings I couldn’t help but feel joy. Then I thought, how in-mates who do not receive visitors feel. Is this the reason people run mad here?