The Den of Lions II-By Edward Maroncha

(Continued from The Den of Lions I)

As Daniel is bundled into a police truck, he still cannot believe that this is happening to him. He has never had a brush with the law in all his 54 years, and it is incredible to think that it is happening now, when he has done nothing wrong. He spent the weekend in the cell with petty criminals, all of whom who were charged with petty offences such as being drunk and disorderly. Perhaps the worst criminal in the cells this weekend was a teenager who had allegedly stolen a goat from an elderly woman. The goat was tethered near the old woman’s gate, and the boy simply untethered it and walked away. Unfortunately, he met the old woman’s two grandsons not far from gate. They recognized the goat and confronted him. He tried to run away but they chased him down, beat him up when they caught him, before taking him to the police station.

The young man told his fellow inmates this story with so much flair that they were all left in stitches, including the drunks nursing hangovers. At some point a cop came and told them to tone it down. Every one told their story, or several versions of their story, because a weekend in confinement is a long time. Daniel stayed silent the whole time, and nobody asked him to say anything. Even in the cells, everyone respects Mwalimu.

Daniel and his cellmates are led to the courtroom in handcuffs. Most of them are handcuffed in pairs, but Daniel is handcuffed alone. He sits in the dock and scans the courtroom. The courtroom is full. Cecilia is seated on the second row with several female politicians who have come to give her moral support. She has a bandage on her forehead and one of her arms is on a sling. Journalists are snapping photos furiously while others are scribbling on their notebooks. Daniel knows that he will once again be in the headline news.

His gaze falls on his lawyer, a young man who was his student just a few years ago. He was a bright boy who was unfortunately struggling with school fees, but Daniel allowed him to stay in school, even with his mounting school fees arrears. Eventually, Daniel found a sponsor who cleared the young man’s school fees and pledged to educate him through University. The sponsor was a man named Gerald, a member of Kagere High School’s Board of Management.

The young man’s name is Leonard, and he was the first student at Kagere High School to score an A plain.

Gerald, who also became Leonard’s mentor, is a lawyer, and that is what influenced Leonard’s career choice. When Leonard scored an A plain, many people expected him to pursue a career in medicine. But Leonard was very clear in his mind that he was not called to be a doctor. What tempted him was Electrical and Electronics Engineering, but he eventually settled on a career in law. His sponsor paid his university and Kenya School of Law fees. When Leonard was finally admitted to the Bar last year, Gerald hired him in his firm.

Leonard told Daniel that when he saw him on the news, he knew instantly that those charges are fake.

“Anyone who was in Kagere High School would agree with me, Mwalimu. We know you and we know what you stand for. There is no way you could have beaten her like that.”

“People change.”

“I don’t believe that Mwalimu. I don’t think people change. I think people just reveal who they truly are. And I don’t think you were hiding your true nature back at Kagere High. If they are saying that you slapped her once or twice, it would still be hard to believe but we could argue that perhaps she provoked you and you lost your temper. But beaten her to a pulp? No way.”

That was Saturday. Leonard appeared at the police station dressed in jeans and a T-Shirt and requested to see him. He told Daniel that he would gladly represent him if he didn’t have a lawyer, but he would also be glad to give moral and financial support in case the teacher already had a lawyer. Daniel hadn’t contacted any lawyer, so he hired the kid on the spot. But Leonard refused payment.

“You are the one who made it possible for me to be who I am today Mwalimu. I would be crazy to charge you even a dime.”

“I was doing my job, Leonard. And TSC was paying me for it. I have to pay you for doing yours.”

“Your job was not to find sponsors, scholarships and bursaries for needy students. That went beyond the call of duty. So no, I am not accepting any payment from you. Gerald will pay me at the end of the month.”

“That is the more the reason why you should accept my payment. Make some money for Gerald so that he has enough to pay you.”

“We already agreed that we are not charging you. You can call him if you want.”

Later on during the weekend Daniel was visited by hotshot lawyers from the Nairobi who wanted to represent him, but he stuck with his young friend. The hotshots may have more experience, but Leonard is genuine. Daniel is not a fool. He knows that the bigshots are not interested in him, but in the publicity that this case is attracting.


After the routine plea taking exercise, a minor battle breaks out over Leonard’s bail application. Leonard lists all the reasons why Daniel should be granted bail: it is his constitutional right, he is not a flight risk because he has a stable job and profitable investments in the area and so forth. The prosecutor makes a half-hearted opposition to the application, probably because he feels obliged to. He raises a weak point that Daniel is a man of means and therefore has the ability to skip the country. Leonard counters by pointing out that financial ability has never been a factor that courts take into account when assessing whether someone is a flight risk or not.

The judge seems to agree, and this irritates Cecilia’s lawyer, who has been silent all this while. Cecilia has chosen a celebrity female lawyer who is known to be a radical feminist to be her lawyer in the case.

“Your honor, I have to say that I am disappointed. I am disappointed in you as a woman because you seem to be taken captive by the patriarchy. It is obvious that the prosecutor has sympathies for the perpetrator, probably because he is a fellow man…”

“What is your point…and what did you say your name is counsel?”

“My name is Amanda.”

“Okay Miss Amanda. What are you driving at? What is your point?”

“The real reason why the accused person should not be granted bail, and the reason I expected the prosecutor to raise, is that the accused person will interfere with witnesses. But chauvinism will not allow him to talk about my client because she is a woman…”

“There are three witnesses in this case, Miss Amanda: two police officers and your client. Which one of them is the accused person likely to interfere with?”

“All the three of them.”

“Including your client?”

Especially my client, your honor. My client is a woman and therefore vulnerable. The accused person might hurt her again in an attempt to make her drop the case.”

“I am sorry Miss Amanda, but your client can hardly be called vulnerable. She is a Senator and has security provided by the State. And with her salary she can hire more guards if necessary.”

“He attacked her. He can do so again.”

“You client can stay away from the house where the accused person lives.”

“Are you saying she should be forced to leave her matrimonial home by her violent husband? Doesn’t she have an equal right to the home? I am sorry to ask your Honor, but what kind of woman are you?”

“Cut off the crap, Miss Amanda. Don’t turn this into feminist propaganda. Let us deal with facts. Have you read your client’s statement? She says she lives in Karen and that she went to the accused person’s house to ask him for a divorce. She actually says “Daniel’s house” in her statement. If she doesn’t live there, then she might as well stay away for the duration of this case. If she wants the house, she can file a matrimonial cause in the relevant court. If she needs to talk about divorce, then she can send you. You are her lawyer after all. The point is, I am not convinced that the accused person will interfere with witnesses in any way. I am therefore releasing him on a bond of two hundred thousand shillings and a surety of the same amount or in the alternative, cash bail of fifty thousand shillings. The case will be mentioned on the 9th of next month for pretrial directions. Next case please.”


When he is finally released, Daniel decides to go to his house so that he can shower and head to school. He is still the principal, after all. When he gets to the house, everything seems to be okay. The young men who tend to his home are working. One of them is trimming the fence and he can hear a second one at the back feeding the cows. The third one is tending the vegetable garden. The only strange thing is that none of them is out in the tea farm supervising the casuals who are plucking tea.  But Daniel doesn’t bother asking them why; he is in a hurry to get to school.

When he gets to the house, he finds the housekeeper in the kitchen.  He is heading upstairs to his bedroom when she calls him back and says she wants to show him something. Surprised, he goes back down the stairs. Fides has worked for him for close to six years now. She used to live in the house, but when Cecilia left, Daniel raised her salary and asked her to rent her own house. He did not want to stay in the same house with a woman in the absence of his wife.

“I am so sorry for what happened to you, boss,” she says when Daniel is standing in front of her.

“It is okay Fides. What did you want me to see?”

“This,” she says, lifting her T-shirt and exposing her braless breasts. “I want to offer you comfort because you have suffered this weekend.”

“No Fides…”

Before he can finish the sentence, she throws herself at him and kisses him deeply. She takes one of his hands and places it on her breast and the other under her skirt.

Daniel can feel his body getting aroused, but he recovers quickly and pushes her away.

“Don’t ever do that again, Fides. Otherwise I will fire you.”

Before he can even finish talking, she throws herself on the floor and starts screaming that he is raping her. The three young men enter the house within seconds. They immediately start slapping and kicking Daniel while calling him a rapist. They drag him out of the house and down the road to the police station while beating him, while Fides follows behind while crying.

Cecilia, who is at a café near the police station, smiles as she watches a bleeding Daniel being dragged to the police station by the three young men. It is only the beginning, she mumbles to herself. By the time she is done with Daniel, he will have lost his property, his job, his credibility and his freedom. He will be better off dead than alive.

(Continued Here)

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay:


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