I had been away on deployment for 9 years. Before invasion of Somalia on 16th October of 2011, I was serving my 7th year. I joined the Kenya Defense Forces in 2004 and I was among the first soldiers to set foot in Somalia in an effort to chase down militants who had kidnapped a White tourist. It wasn’t my first time to set foot in battle ground but these were a new kind of militants. One, it was the first time Kenya was going to war on foreign soil.
I was a little bit shaken by the can of worms we were about to open up but in service, conforming was first then questions later. My inner darkness squirmed at the possibilities of war, blood, endless deaths, explosives and sniper shots.
I was a sniper for 1KR. I loved my job. For one, it brought food to the table and secondly, I was damn good at it. It was the only thing I was good at. I had failed in all things relationships because of some bs or some lie and the only thing left for me was my life and my rifle. In the mix of all this search for an anchor, I got to serve my country.
What we didn’t realize when all hell broke loose was that we were creating sympathizers within the country as we fought enemies beyond our borders. We were desperate to eliminate the enemy. The desire to be victorious saw us go to great lengths, tend to broken spirits and limbs, bury our own but the zeal to see victory at the cost of sweat and blood saw us keep on keeping on.’
That all stopped on the 2nd of May 2011.
I had just returned from Somalia when two men showed up at my apartment in Zimmerman. It was a chilly morning so I had preferred to just sit tight indoors and wait for the weather to calm its tits and bring forth some shine. I was tired from the endless trips on sandy scrubby environments in the Horn and the only other thing I longed for other than sleeping was getting laid.
My sacs were full and they needed emptying. So as you can guess, there was a girl on my bed. Her weave had covered her head, barring anyone from seeing the face. She looked okay but that didn’t matter. She had served her purpose. I didn’t do prostitutes mainly because I was virtuous (hehe) but then again, I never had a problem getting a lady to my bed.
I was awoken by the somewhat rough knock on the door. That startled me. I wasn’t expecting anyone so instinctively, being the soldier I am, I reached into my bedside drawer and pulled out the vz. 27. I walked to the kitchen which was adjacent to the outside corridor and drew the curtain just to be able to see who was standing at my door. I couldn’t see anything so I went to the door and peeped through the keyhole.
The first thing I saw was the gun strapped on the visitor’s waist. The knock came again. The guy was growing impatient. I checked the wall clock and it was just some minutes past 10 so I figured almost everyone in adjacent buildings was awake.
No one can try and pull of some robbery in such conditions. I told myself.
I went back to the bedroom, wore some shorts and went back to the door. I quietly unlocked the door to find a middle aged, light skinned man of around 45 standing facing the door patiently while other two were standing on either of his side.
After introducing himself as Colonel Musa, he showed me his badge which made me relax a little bit.
After saluting, I ushered him into the scantily furnished apartment and rushed to the bedroom to put on a shirt. I instructed the lady on the bed that at no one time should she come out. I have some important people in the sitting room and I don’t want us bothered… I remember saying.
Musa had been sent by some important people in government who had been observing my career progression very closely. This was done through numerous interviews with my colleagues and weekly reports from my supervisors and seniors in the military. The ‘people’ had noted with pride my zeal to serve and the 123 kills I had under my belt.
I was destined for service. It was time to leave the military behind and serve on a more clandestine way. My place was behind the rifle. Now the time was ripe to leave the uniform and be more in control of what I did. I had proved that I could do as asked with no questions. Musa said.
Musa and his supervisors had noted I had nothing else other than my life and my rifle. My parents had succumbed to cancer at an early age, leaving me at the care of grandmother who we had buried two months earlier. Having no wife, children or siblings, it was just the world and I.
The job I was just about to take on involved more killing only that I didn’t have to travel outside the country to deliver on my JD. It was an in house kind of assignment(s). I was cut from the cloth of merciless life takers only with the right conviction and belief in my actions. Not just anyone fell from my gun. Only the guilty. (In my opinion.)
I was to hunt local terrorists, their sympathizers and stop them at whatever cost. Hunting I hated. It’s the stopping I was looking forward to.
In my command would be three other highly trained officers, two men from the Administration Police and one female officer from the Kenya Police. Having been trained extensively for the previous 9 months, Musa and his bosses believed that they had what it took to deliver on whichever task bestowed upon them.
I sat and listened carefully without interruptions. The two men who had accompanied Musa stood on either of his side the whole time without as slight as a whimper. At one time during his briefing he asked for a glass of water which I brought in a black, disposable plastic cup. He gulped the water in one sip and continued.
“Your base of operations will be a clandestine government facility in Karen. The house is highly secured and under 24 hours’ surveillance. Of course you control everything there to ensure there’s no interference from anyone outside the 5-bedroom mansion. All meetings between you and I will be at the Langata Barracks. A car will always pick you up at a specified location and bring you to the barracks anytime upon request.”
He handed me a Black Berry cellphone and stood up.
“You have three days to think about it. You start on Sunday.”
With that he started to walk out. On reaching the door he looked back and pointed to the bedroom…
“She has to go. No civilian has clearance for whatever was said in this room today”.
With that he walked out after one of his security honchos followed by the other.
I didn’t even salute as he disappeared into the corridor.
I was dumbfounded by the instruction he had just issued. She had to go. I knew that. If I didn’t do the job someone else would be sent to complete it. I had killed before, but I had never killed an innocent civilian, less someone I knew personally. This signified the lines that were to be crossed with the JD that would be issued to me in a few days. Things were to get complicated. What I was about to delve into wasn’t for the faint hearted. It wasn’t for the guys with a conscience.
I locked the door upon their departure, removed my shirt and went back to the bedroom. I found her lying on her stomach. She had pushed the covers off her body irrespective of the freezing cold outside. The bedroom had an aura of warmth that I associated with her presence on my bed. She was naked and angelic. It was the first time I had been with a woman since arrival in Nairobi from Somalia and I was determined to enjoy every aspect of the few hours that were to follow.