It was a pitch dark night and dark nimbus clouds hung menacingly above Gulu town. Locals say in nights like this particular one, Lord’s Resistance Rebels would sneak into town to snatch women, youths and generally wreck havoc before retreating back to their hideouts.
The year was around 1996. Myself and a couple of other Journalists had just had a dinner meeting with the Late Jacob Oulanya. This was around the time Oulanya through his Law Firm he founded with Nobert Mao and others, had just lost a case in which he freely represented a hapless woman named Candida Lakony whose photograph had made headlines in the press, as her private part was being shaved by a bunch of uniformed soldiers believed to be NRA who were battling insurgency in Northern Uganda. One of the soldiers was believed to be her boyfriend called Kisaale.
It was later proved in court that the information around the matter was doctored to taint the image of the army.
Candida was sent to Luzira to serve 12 years but Oulanyah remained a hero among his Acholi natives for his bravery and good heart. Oulanya wanted to appeal the case.
I think his association with the lady was a clever move to build a political capital as parliamentary elections were around the corner. Years later that proved to be correct as Oulanyah swept the elections and joined Parliament.
The dinner interview went well and as the jolly fellow indulged the journalists in a series of booze rounds, I excused my self to walk down the street to my hotel. As I stepped out of Lacan Penino Restaurant, I noticed how dark the night was.
Thunder and lightning was already rocking the town in preparations for a downpour. I hastened my pace to my hotel and alas! Electricity tripped plunging the Northern town into absolute darkness.
It was so dark I could not see my arms swinging besides me. I think I was about 30 yards to the entrance of my hotel when a sudden flash of lightning revealed dreadlocked figures carrying matchets and guns right infront of me. I froze in fright but quickly came back to my senses and swiftly and noiselessly ducked behind a tree by the roadside.
Thank God I was wearing a pair of dark jeans and a blue jacket and I was about 20 or so yards from them. I flattened my self on the tree trunk to a pulp as the alien looking figures murmured in disbelief at the sudden disappearance of a potential victim. The murmer was rudely interrupted by a stun order in Acholi dialect for the team to proceed on their mission….. “Story to be continued on ” Herdsboy in the City”