A memoriam was needed for the victims of the Kenyatta National Hospital fire, just like the 2009 Sachangwan tanker tragedy victims. Today, the mass grave where the Sachangwan victims were buried has grown to a grand-hawking centre, thanks to the speed limit bumps and rumble strips that were installed on the road to slow down motorists.
As it is with Kenya, and Kenyans, everything was forgotten. Life moved on. The Kenyatta National Hospital fire tragedy was history the moment a police chopper crashed ferrying the Inspector General and the Interior Cabinet Secretary to Welmerer in Dadaab, Garissa where al-Shabaab terrorists had attacked and burnt down several police posts, another national tragedy that drew everybody’s attention from the KNH fire tragedy brouhaha. But the KNH victims, as were known, were not forgotten. The government that had killed us decided to build a memorial at the KNH in memory of us, the twenty-two fire tragedy victims.
And KNH was to be renamed Independence Memorial Hospital. KNH was a reminder of what had happened there to patients. It was reported that the ghosts of the fire victims buried there had never found peace and haunted the hospital.
“They are seeking for justice,” one paranormal expert said on several national televisions. I didn’t even know paranormal stuff made news in Nairobi any more than it was in Mombasa where djinnis reside, or even it was a profession that’s recognized. “See, the victims’ ghosts may feel that the fire was not an accident, that somebody was to blame and they want somebody to pay for their mistakes.”
“And what could be other reasons that could lead to ghosts roaming the land of the living?” asked the anchor-woman, a beautiful voluptuous Kamba woman who was rumoured to be the President’s mpango wa kando (mistress) because she once took a selfie with him at an Olympics sports event in London.
“Some ghosts want to tell their loved ones about what happened to them or the reasons they were killed, or try to do something they ought to do when they were alive and they did not do,” the ghost expert said. “But depending on where the ghosts are reported depending on the nature of their death, others just want to see their loved ones and tell them how much they cared and loved them…”
“Wait a minute,” the newscaster interjected. “You mean ghosts can feel and express love?”
“Ghosts are just an extension of the person, but in spirit form. There are people who can see them. Not many people like the idea though,” the ghost man said. He was clearly the government’s idea of showing the government was concerned. By building a memorial for people who were very much alive? He continued, “So, yes, they can feel and show love, especially who did not love their loved ones as much when they were alive.”
“And can those whom the ghosts visit see the ghosts?”
“That’s hard to say, but yes, they can see the ghosts if they have the third eye.” This guy was good. He was a subject matter expert. “Not everyone has the third eye…”
Strange things were happening in Nairobi. All of a sudden there were floods in Nairobi. The floods were due to the location where the city stands. The British, while planning the city of Nairobi in 1902, were against its establishment in its present day location because the area is a wetland. Yet the floods were blamed on unsettled ghosts seeking justice. Temperatures in Nairobi dropped, it was like winter in Europe. Voices and cries were heard at night at KNH by patients and resident nurses. There were whistles in the night but you couldn’t see who was whistling. People woke up to coconut trees growing in their compounds. Others saw UFOs.
No doubt those who reported these things were put up to it by the government. Knowing Kenyans and their opportunistic tendencies, they saw it as their ‘time to eat’ from the national coffers. With the right price and coaching, people testified.
That’s when a paranormal expert came out of the blue and advised the government that KNH was haunted by the spirits of the twenty-two fire tragedy victims. Solution? The hospital wing that was consumed by the inferno be made a memorial park, and Kenyatta National Hospital be renamed Independence Memorial Hospital.
And so the government took the advice. My spirit and those of my friends were appeased.
“You see, when the ghost of the dead has been appeased, it finds peace,” another ghost expert said on another TV after the President officiated the opening of the memoriam and KNH renaming ceremony. Ghost experts had become hot cake careers and jobs. “Patients at the hospital now have peaceful nights, nurses can walk around at night without seeing burning people, and the voices and cries have stopped.”
And so it was, I was forever gone, so were my friends, and the government got its way. That’s a whole lot of trouble to go to to recruit and train assassins. Perhaps it isn’t bearing in mind the assassins are already dead, no one would claim them when they outlived their usefulness.