We are back. That’s how the Daily Monitor newspaper re-arrived in the market on May 31st. For 11 days since May 20th, the police had fenced off the office premises with crime-scene tapes and men in uniform.

We had done something really wrong, or so we were told. We had published a story in which General David Sejusa wrote to the Director General of Internal Security Organization, seeking an investigation into alleged assassination plot of those opposed to a purported succession plan that would see Muhoozi Kainerugaba replace his father Museveni as President.

Where is the letter the General wrote? We don’t have it. So they searched and searched and searched. While they did that –joblessness struck –boooom!

Holding onto guns and batons, the men in uniform stood guard at Monitor. When we attempted an entry, they showed as the exit.  They tossed teargas at pro-free press demonstrators–-reminding us that freedom does not come easy. We needed to work harder.

We shed teargas-induced tears. We dotted our faces with sweat as we braved it all. We dared, fled, returned and dared some more. We searched past their shields and helmets until we found their eyes. They were painted red or dark with something –hunger, anger, fatigue –I’m not sure.

But May 30th was different. Ululations, laughter, hugs, smiles and welcome-backs.

The human fence was gone and red seals stuck on doors were cut lose. It was business — again.

I’m not the loud type –but somehow I screamed. The relief –seated deep within jumped out without warning. Shoulders felt lighter as unseen anxieties tumbled down in haste.

And yet writing this now – I can’t name the feeling I felt hours ago. I won’t try giving it a name now. I’ll just disturb hope one more time and tell it to hold my hands and tell me something hopeful; that the bricks that form our home –will not be injected with coated corrosives; that this place we call home will not become inhabitable for intellectual dates.  And that this pen with which we write able-bodied words –will not be filled with ink of masked autonomy and frightened verities.

One thought on “…able-bodied words

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