Guilty until proven Innocent (A poem dedicated to the victims of SARV)

This is the poem that inspired me to write the story about the woman who was accused of sorcery and burnt alive.
This poem was written last year, I wrote it for the Crocodile Prize Literary Competition

A little boy of 5 had just died in my village
Cause of death remains unknown
Word is that I killed him
Word is that I removed his heart from his chest and ate it
Word is that I ate half and place the other half back
Relatives begged me to escape
But How can I when I have done no such thing
The village mob came and dragged me out my house
Relatives said “We warned you”
The mob said “We got the sanguma”

I was found guilty of murder until proven innocent

They tortured me, burned with me hot iron rods
Like a welder’s welding rod coming in contact with metal
My flesh burned
Smelled like a pig’s flesh when roasted
They cut my fingers off one by one
Interrogated me from dusk till dawn
They wanted me to confess
They promised I would live if I confessed


I was found guilty of murder until proven innocent

I thought about my children
Whom I brought into the world
They are my world, my life revolved around them
Who would look after them if I am gone
I thought about my husband, my pillar, my strength
What would he do without me
Was he capable of looking after our 4 children?
I couldn’t leave them
What would life be without me


I was found guilty of murder until proven innocent

They forced me to confess
The pain was too much to bear
So I confessed that I killed the boy
Only so they would spare me
They didn’t keep their word
They tortured me more
This time even more painfully
They tore me piece by piece
Like a lion ripping off the flesh of its prey piece by piece

I was found guilty of murder until proven innocent

When the police came, the mob chased them away
If the law couldn’t protect me
Who else would?
Who else was strong enough to face an angry mob
My strong and fierce warrior husband was helpless and weak before the mob
With tears in his eyes, He turned away
He covered his ears in shame when he heard my cries from a mile away

I was found guilty of murder until proven innocent

I was given a tribal justice
I appeared before the elders of the village

They were the judge and the jury
I pleaded my case before them
No evidence was presented before the court
Still,
I was found guilty
The sentence was death

I was found guilty of murder until proven innocent

I tried to hide my shame
My naked body was exposed to the men
They did unimaginable things to my body
They enjoyed it
I could see it in their cold dark eyes
They thirst for blood and revenge
They beat me till I lost all consciousness
They pissed on my naked body
I begged for water, they made drink their piss
Said I was a witch, a sanguma, a murderer

I was found guilty of murder until proven innocent

They led me to the village square
They had a cross made from old rotten wood
They crucified me on a cross
The cross, a symbol of redemption for humanity
Was now my condemnation
If Christ was watching
He probably was in pain watching a innocent woman being tortured
No man can save me

I was found guilty of murder until proven innocent


So I look to the sky and prayed for divine intervention
But God wasn’t there
He turned his back on me
So like Jesus,
I cried to him, my Lord, my God
Why have you forsaken me
They piled tires beneath my cross
I remembered the scene from the movie passion of Christ
And asked myself why?
What did I do to deserve this?
They Poured petrol on my naked body
I felt trickled it down slowly
I could taste it on the tip of my tongue
My lips were dry

I was found guilty of murder until proven innocent

Someone from the mob threw a burning wood onto the tires
The tires caught flame
And I felt my feet burning
I screamed but no one helped
I remembered Late Leniata Kepari.

We were both found guilty of murder and sentence to a painful death without given a chance to prove our innocence.

Women covered their eyes, children their eyes and ears, men stood proud with their chest out
Justice has been served they said

I was found guilty they said, I had been weighed and found wanting.

7 thoughts on “Guilty until proven Innocent (A poem dedicated to the victims of SARV)

  1. Bernadette ORAKA May 15, 2020 / 8:20 am

    A heart wrenching poem…. beautiful but painful 😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hipson Homai May 15, 2020 / 11:37 pm

    So touching poem, the poem really broke my spirit into tears….😥😥😥
    I could imagine the pain in my heart.
    Very good poem

    Liked by 1 person

    • Soki May 23, 2020 / 1:40 am

      This is really unimaginable, Life on this beautiful earth should’ve been far enough to accept the fact that you are proven innocent.😂😂 I’ve heard of the story but this Poem said it all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom Monemone May 19, 2020 / 7:43 am

    The pain can be felt vividly in the words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Derek Doolan May 21, 2020 / 4:14 am

    So so sad
    However we see this every day in society of the world today people in suits with money throwing us under the bus because it works for them not us nothing has changed except we are drained the system is so corrupt it’s we that pain and hurt at a system that has never changed so are we free or is this the game that never ends when you wake up from this comic book and smile I think you won !!😔😔

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leiriki January 11, 2021 / 12:25 am

    Beautifully written but in a painful way. God sees it all.

    Like

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