Mutua brandished the gun he had, “Drop it, or I’ll do it.” His eyes focused on the man tossing his brother, Komen, around. They had been on this street before, at the same time, nothing much had changed. It was still not safe to walk around at 6.30 in the evening, streetlights were on. The assailants were the same, cops supposedly patrolled the area, but conveniently after the muggings between 6.30 and 8 pm when people got home from work and school.
Just two months ago, Makau had lost his kid sister, Wairimu, she was only 7 years old. She had dashed to the kiosk to get some sweets she was craving. She had hoped that no one would notice her gone. Only to never return; Wairimu was found raped, and slit on the throat. She was 7 years old she did not deserve that. The worst they should have done, if they had to steal from a child, was to steal her two shillings and send her on her way.
Her brothers found her lying right in the open sprawled by the entrance of a shopping complex. Makau and Komen where mugged at the same spot they found their sister. His cell phone and Komen’s, sneakers were taken as well as the shopping they had been sent to get by their mum. They were beaten black and blue after the incident. The family was so distraught. They reported the matter to the police a stone throw away from the murder scene. The police didn’t care, they never cared.
“Kijana! Hiyo ni hali ya maisha,” the policeman at the reception told him while going through the Occurrence Book (OB) at the police station.
“Tunawajua.” Another policeman yelled from behind his colleague leaning on the OB book at the reception desk. Then if they knew who the thugs where, why didn’t they arrest them? These men, who couldn’t be much older than Makau, were committing numerous felonies and getting away with them scot free.
A phone rang; Makau reached for his pocket then recalled that his phone was stolen. He looked up and saw another policeman with the same phone he had, but he couldn’t be sure it was his. Makau began to seethe in anger. Why wasn’t anyone paying attention? Why couldn’t these police realize that his name did appear on their OB book when he reported the murder of his beautiful innocent sister? What was wrong with them?
Makau had since decided to take justice into his own hands, his parents both old and frail were paralysed by the loss and tragedy. They spent most waking days shuttling between the bathroom and the couch in the living room, looking at photo albums of the “good old days.” They never spoke openly about the incident to their children and now Makau their eldest had had enough. He needed to protect himself and his family. He remembered in his class, one of his classmates had a parent who was a police reservist and could help him get a gun illegally.
Now here he was, been taught the basics of how to use the revolver and wasn’t about to let his brother down again. Komen had passed urine and was paralysed by fear. Komen’s eyes pleaded with Makau not to do anything stupid. The assailant laughed Makau off. A loud cracking sound rent the air, and Komen ran screaming all the way home, 10 minutes away, with human brain matter splattered all over him… the assailant fell to the ground, Makau stood over him.
Sirens were heard from a distance. Makau stood there with the gun smoking and dropped by his side. Arms hanging limb by his side, he watched the dead assailant with mixed feelings of fear, fulfillment, justice , guilt and worry. The police whisked him away from the scene and cuffed him.
“Twende Kijana!” The police officer told him. He was frog marched to the same police station he had been weeks before. It was 7pm.