March 15 2015
My current condition is the result of the poor choices I have made but that did not stop me from spending the whole day lying on my day paralyzed by fear and hopelessness. But the world did not stop moving forward even as I took an opportunity to wallow in the throes of self-pity.
A few weeks before Samiya died, she came home frustrated because the Southern Sudanese government had reneged on an agreement to provide land for her relief agency to build schools. She had discovered that the land had been sold to a European hedge fund. I did not understand her frustration, to me it was logical. The South Sudanese government needed investments and this was an opportunity to put people to work.
The hedge fund had interests in an agro processing venture concern that had been chosen by the government to undertake a major reforestation project involving millions of dollars. The deal was above board as far as I could tell. The locals were in line to get jobs that would help them look after their families and the company promised to provide schools and develop infrastructure, so Samiya's anger was misplaced as far as I was concerned.
It was not until she mentioned that Malloch Corporation through its African subsidiary was behind the land acquisition I panicked. I panicked because that was the company Karen worked for and she was in charge of their environmental projects in Africa. We learn that there are no coincidences in life. Everything that happens is a result of concerted efforts by someone acting alone or in concert with others to make those things happen.
The fact that Karen had reappeared in my life when I was reasonable happy was a niggling concern. I fell in love with Karen because she seemed authentic, she was an open book. I thought she was not deceptive. But she lost out because she reminded me of my grandmother, sensible. I was not looking for sensible; I was not looking for simplicity. I wanted a wife who could navigate in diplomatic circles and as far as I was concerned Samiya was everything Karen would never be. The events that have happened in my life have shown that I was the one who was in the dark.
The ending of our relationship was not a good one. There was a mutual loathing. If it had not been for intervention of the guards at her house we would have murdered each other. Ever since that day I had hated her. Maybe in an alternative universe things turned out different. It all happened because Karen did not support my decision to pursue a career in government, she pleaded with me to let it go but I could not. I let her go instead and I ran into the arms of the motherland. I was taught that people like Karen and my grandmother had no place in the world because they lacked sophistication. I chose to run with the wolves. I had joined my nation's secret services and I did not look back.
Naturally my parents were ecstatic when they heard that I had ended things with Karen. They considered her not an ideal match because of her background. They probably would not have approved of Samiya as well. When Samiya did not speak to me for two weeks I sought Karen out hoping that maybe she could convince her people to look for another piece of land.
At first she refused to see me and I had to use skulduggery to get into her office. As I was stood in her office pleading with her to find a way not to interfere with Samiya's work, I thought she would understand, I thought her sensitivity towards other people would at least make her consider my plea. But she told me point blank that the project was going ahead and that even if she wanted to stop it she had no choice as she was only implementing a directive from their head office.
But her face betrayed her it did not carry an expression of resignation but determination. I tried to appeal to her altruism but she laughed at me and mocked me.
"When did Vula suddenly learn to care about other people?"
I could not answer. I left her office with my tail between my legs. My life had gotten very complicated. Karen was being selfish she was going to make me pay. I did not want to engage in a fight with her. Did she know about Samiya and me? Was she making me pay through Samiya? It seemed like a classic case of jealousy. But sometimes the world is never that simple.
If I told Samiya that the project was being implemented by the woman I had scorned, she would never forgive me. I guess I will never know because when I got home that day Samiya had not arrived. I could not reach her on her mobile. I went to her workplace I was told she had left after lunch and had not returned.
I searched for her all night, exhausted and defeated I received a phone call, a scratchy male voice informing me that they had my wife and that they wanted a ransom of three hundred thousand dollars or they would kill her. They gave me one day to bring them the money and they told me that they were watching me and if I told anyone they would not hesitate to kill me and Samiya.
I did as they requested but they still killed Samiya. None of the training I received could help me, I was helpless as they locked her inside a house a burned her alive. Her screams are constantly with me. Charred remains were recovered two days later. I was the main suspect in her murder case. Everything had been taken from me and for the first time in my life I understood what it was to be a defeated man.