KYOMUHENDO ATEENYI

The Day Hope Was Flogged*

In the stenches where the forlorn dwell
With their tribulations by their side
He had gone to be with them
And speak to them
And comfort them
In a tongue that was known to them
Our Dailies: “Hope has been flogged! ”

Like soldiers dotting the front-line
The local militia, our Police
Fresh from their fashion barracks
Wore for the days parade brown khakis of firmly pressed ends
And expertly motioned themselves
Along the route to the stenches where the forlorn dwell
With their tribulations by their side
Our Dailies: “Hope has been flogged! ”


The Leader of the militia (LOM)
Or IGP they call him
Consulted his Golden watch of diamond hands,
Adjusted his Dolce and Gabbana spectacles in position
Breathed away to the fresh artificial airs in his plush office
And like the hopeful leopard
Snarled and prowled about
Wishing hope, that troublesome Hope
Could dropp by the stenches where the forlorn dwell
And then have a fine fable to tell of how good a student he was at Sandhurst.
The long arm was now pointing at thirty (30) as the short one accused (10)
Our Dailies: “Hope has been flogged! ”


So when signs that Hope could be on his way started showing
As cries of what seemed like a whole army of enraged locusts began piercing
The ears of the constables whose hearts were fast mellowing
And knees hysterically trembling
Summoned was a notorious band of rogues
That brandished sticks the size of the hand of a hoe
To give the militia, our police, a shoulder to lean on
In case, just in case, Hope proved to be too stubborn as he usually is
Also summoned were:
Tear gas canisters of the latest make,
Canines that gnawed their teeth in intimidating trends
Guns whose chambers were burdened with several rounds of bullets
Handcuffs that jingled at the side of the bearers waists
Singing away to the song of repression…
Our Dailies: “Hope has been flogged! ”

So when that moment came
And Hope presented himself before their frightened eyes
And word did the deed of doing rounds
That the confronted had steel for skin
Larvae for blood
And diamond for heart
Fear gripped the chasers who were only left tale- bearing
The true intentions of their commander- the LOM,
That had sent them after this particular Chased
Our Dailies: “Hope has been flogged! ”

So like the cat that has been found leaking away to its master’s milk
Panic gripped the chasers- Militia, the LOM/IGP
The band of rogues that came on invite
And I was told even the Big man himself
For the power Hope had at swaying masses with his voice coarse
Those who dwell in the stenches of the forlorn
Was historic
Because he spoke in the tongue they best understood.
Our Dailies: “Hope has been flogged! ”

So the rogues of the stick executed what they had been invited to do
The Militia in Khaki came in handy
Hope received the first, then the second
And as the third contoured his brow
A man next enveloped him in a show of loyalty and love
Who then received the remaining share that was intentioned for Hope
For and on his behalf..

And as morning sun thrust her javelins of rays to the soils of our country,
our dailies bore the offensive lead:
“Hope has been flogged! ”


*On the 9th day of June 2010 at around 11am, Dr Kizza Besigye Kifeefe, leader of Uganda’s foremost opposition political party the Forum for Democratic Change, was publicly flogged by policemen and members of the Kiboko Squad vigilante group as he led a demonstration against the Electoral Commission in Uganda’s capital of Kampala.

Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 10, 2010
Poem Edited: Friday, June 11, 2010

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Comments about The Day Hope Was Flogged* by KYOMUHENDO ATEENYI

  • Brian Bwesigye (6/11/2010 5:19:00 AM)

    Brilliant piece! ! ! ! I saw Hope being flogged on TV! ! ! So sad!

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