10th Jan 2015
Fred Msumari always told me that one should have a special someone to contact in the event of an emergency. I found some letters and also your email address amongst his things and I have nobody else to turn to.
My name is Binti Pepo. We are not personally acquainted and I am very sorry to be the bearer of bad news. We travelled to Kerugoyes with Fred Msumari late last year to perform during the independence day celebrations at the invitation of the King Mwanalog II
See them fighting for Power
but they know not the Hour
On the evening of the 31st December 2014 the Royal procession was making its way back to the palace after the King’s successful Ndarabara ceremony high up in the mountains. Fred had been invited to go and watch the event. Just as they were crossing the Iron bridge, they were ambushed by masked insurgents bearing the dreaded Black Flag.
The Imperial guards were outnumbered by the attackers who were heavily armed with automatic rifles and grenade launchers. At the end of the shoot out it was immediately clear that the King was dead. Imperial guardsmen lay on the ground, dead or dying . The rest of the royal party surrendered and were quickly rounded up and taken to a prison camp deep in the forest. Fred Msumari was amongst those captured. Nothing is known about their fate to date and all we can hope is that no news is good news.
A State of Emergency was declared throughout the land on the 1st of January 2015. The leader of the uprising announced an end to the monarchy. He declared himself the interim president even as insurgents stormed the Royal Palace, smashing it up and looting everything in an orgy of destruction. We were all carted off to the City Women’s prison where we are held to this day.
Dear Jaki, please circulate this email and let others know of our situation. Ask our government to intervene and demand for our immediate release. You are our only hope. Do not ignore my plea for help.
Yours in hope
12th Jan 2015
Dear Binti Pepo,
Oh dear, what a mess! Who are these idiots destroying peoples’ lives? We are getting some news coming through of the dreadful things that are happening. We stand in solidarity with the struggling people of Kerugoyes.
I am so sorry to hear about your situation. You are living a nightmare. The stuff that you hear and read about but never expect to have to live through. Thank you for getting in touch with me. Have you heard anything of Fred yet?
I have done as you asked and sent emails to everyone and anyone who has a chance of helping. I spoke to an official at the Foreign affairs Office this morning. They are very sympathetic but see many obstacles ahead; our fair Republic, as you know, has not recognised this new government in Kerugoyes. In fact we strongly condemned the unconstitutional manner in which they came to power and our High Commissioner was recalled for consultations last week.
We are holding meetings with activists and other people who know more about these things in order to publicise your plight and launch a campaign demanding the immediate and unconditional release of yourself, Fred and the other prisoners. I will keep you updated on that. Please let me know the minute you hear anything about Fred.
I pray that you may be strong and keep the faith