The Classified Files

Godfrey Kalyesubula

© Copyright 2023 by 
Godfrey Kalyesubula


Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash
Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

The clock struck 7.30 pm. The voice of the Master of Ceremonies beamed over the sound system, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment we`ve been waiting for. This is the point in time this evening when the occasion for our being here picks up temple”. He took a dramatic pause, surveying the audience and enjoying the atmosphere of eager expectation he had created. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the time to hear from the author of the book selection for this month. Ladies and gentlemen, here I present to you Doctor Duncan Warren Musisi, the author of The Classified Files!”

The audience applauded fittingly as the light-skinned middle-aged man moved to the dais. Doctor D. W. Musisi was evidently moved by the mood of the moment. Perhaps he had not expected things to be that good. As he stood before the dignified audience, he mentally concluded that after all, his book project was worth everything that had gone into it. He was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Makerere University, who had decided to go on a sabbatical for one year in order to devote all his energies to that book. From what he could observe before him, he concluded he had taken a correct decision.

He cleared his throat, fidgeted a little with the microphone, and began his address. After he had gone through the protocol formalities, he went on to prepare and capture his listeners by making brief humorous comments. He said, “This book is small enough not to scare those whose reading culture is minimal. It`s just a mere six hundred and seventy six pages.” That remark drew some embarrassed chuckles of guilt in sections of the audience. He went on weaving his listeners by giving them a synoptic account of the book`s content. As he did so, his mind went on a flashback journey into the past. It reconstructed the lives of the “specimens” he had used in writing the book, his own life included. But the onlookers – his audience – could not notice that he had mentally wandered off down the following memory lane:

William Pogson was a heavily-built man standing at six feet four inches tall. He was a Captain in the King`s African Rifles, or KAR in short. The KAR was the British colonial army in their East African colonies, of which Uganda was one. Pogson was based at a military facility near the eastern town of Jinja. He had so far spent five years in Uganda. He had been transferred from Kenya, another British colony east of Uganda, in 1955. Pogson`s transfer was inevitable. His superiors discovered, to their horror, that he had begun an intimate relationship with a native Kenyan woman. By all counts, that was an extremely dangerous act for a British military officer serving in Kenya! At that time, the KAR was fully occupied with the crushing of the Kenyan Freedom Fighters who were known to the British as “the mau-mau bandits”. Pogson`s behavior was considered almost as a treason act and they could not take any chances with him so, they moved him to Uganda, a relatively peaceful place, where he would have to deal with only routine military operations.

About one year after his arrival in Uganda, Pogson, true to his character, got involved with a native Ugandan woman from a suburb of Jinja town. That immoral affair went on steadily for about five years without being detected by either his superiors or his wife. How he managed to keep it concealed from his dominant and watchful wife was a mystery. But as one well-known African saying goes, “Truth can pierce the hardest rock to reveal itself”, soon it came upon Pogson to face truth and reality when his Ugandan mistress delivered a bouncing baby whose paternity could not be disputed. He was definitely the father of that baby!

In the army, he was a specialist in defusing bombs of all types. By all intents, his siring of a child with an African woman was a tricky and dangerous bomb that required special skill to be neutralized. “Would he succeed in defusing it?” He wondered! So the bomb started to tick slowly but steadily towards its explosion. It was surely bound to explode, whether then or later! To Pogson, the only option he could think of was to delay that explosion as much as he could. In a way, he was correct to take that course of action for, the bomb never exploded during his lifetime. But it would explode some day!

At Namulonge in central Uganda was a vast estate that belonged to the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation of Britain. It was really huge with several departments and sections. One of these was the Mechanical Engineering Department. It was headed by a youthful graduate engineer from Bristol – James Warren. He was a unique man in more than one ways. He could, for instance, relate to his African assistants more freely unlike his colleagues in the other departments who were always arrogant towards them. He could even speak some broken Luganda although he had spent barely two years in Uganda.

Warren`s stint in Uganda was his first in Africa. He had been transferred to Uganda from India by the corporation`s top brass in Britain. At first, he had regarded the act of moving him from India with contempt. He had even toyed with the idea of resigning. India was so special a place to him! It was in India where he had met, fallen in love and married his beloved wife of six years, Phyllis. That is why the moment he received the dispatch from London instructing him to pack up and move to an African station, he rushed home to Phyllis in a rage!

Do they take me to be cattle that they can move about from paddock to paddock as they please?” he angrily blasted out. “I`m fed up with them; I`m quitting!”

But Phyllis had taken it all with a positive attitude. For her, she was sure it was some kind of blessing in disguise. And it was just a matter of minutes when she succeeded in calming him down, as she had done so on numerous occasions in the past, with her sweet persuasive sexy voice.

Darling, you never know. This might be a God-sent opportunity to us! A change in the environment might be all we need to get what we`ve waited for this long!”

Those words did the trick. They softened him down and his attitude made a u-turn. They hinted at what he always dreamt about – a child. So, the resignation plans were immediately shelved and soon after, the couple relocated to Namulonge in Uganda in East Africa.

Surprisingly to both of them, Namulonge proved to be a superb place; in fact far better than the Indian station where they had spent some eight years. The climate, the working environment, the social life, everything was superior. However, almost after two years, the much awaited for dream was yet to be realized. But they kept on hoping as their love and intimacy continued to flourish. Then unexpectedly, two things happened which were to change their marriage life. It was never to be the same again after those two fateful events.

The first one was Phyllis` decision to leave for England to attend to some mysterious but important family issues. The second one was the move by the Namulonge Establishments Department to set up a “Typing Pool” comprising three girls for the use of the top and middle management staffers at the station. It was not long before that “Typing Pool” became the center of attraction for the loose men, both European and African, at the station. All the three girls were beauties who had just qualified in secretarial work from a commercial college in Kampala. One of them however had an edge over the other two. Her name was Maria Mirembe but the lusty men gave her adoring nicknames like “QOTT” (short for Queen of the Trio), “Misnam” (short for Miss Namulonge), and many others. To most however, she was simply “MM”, her actual initials.

James Warren could not exactly tell whether it was Phyllis` absence or MM`s extreme charm which was responsible for the predicament he found himself in some three months later. It was then when the girl revealed to him that he was to be a father soon. He was immediately cut into two halves! One side of him was rejoicing at that piece of news and another was loathing its repercussions! One evening while cooling it off at the Senior Staff Club, he spotted his close confidant and longtime friend from their high school days in England – Fredrick Thomas. Doctor Fredrick Thomas was the Cotton Breeder at Namulonge and an old hand at the kind of situation Warren was in. For one thing, Warren already knew that Thomas had three bastard children from three different native women nearby. That made him the right man to get advice from. And that is exactly what Thomas did for him.

So, through MM and exactly for her, Warren bought a piece of land some distance from the station. On it, he set up a permanent home for her and her yet to be born baby. When the baby finally came some six months later, he secretly gave him the name Duncan Warren. The baby`s mother added to that the name Musisi. It was only Doctor Thomas who knew everything about the entire secret surrounding that baby`s existence. All that was in the year 1960!

By the beginning of 1958, Saint Mary`s Parish some forty miles east of Kampala, was a model progressive Catholic Parish in a rural setting. It had infrastructure that included a huge Gothic style church, a Primary and Junior School, a Technical School, a Dispensary, and of course a Rectory. It was being run by two white missionaries of the White Fathers Order or “Missionaries of Africa” as they liked to be referred to. They were both Belgian nationals. They were Father Fransisco Verpooter the Parish Priest, and Father Dominique Le Veux, the Curate.

Father Verpooter was already eighty years old and sickly most of the time. Perhaps that was due to his advanced age. He was even contemplating retiring. As for Father Le Veux, he was youthful, energetic, and in actual sense, the one running the parish affairs. He was an innovative and easy-going man. The two lived together in the luxurious comfortable Rectory which had a parlor, a chapel, a set of apartments for each priest and a library.

It was in the middle of December 1958 when something remarkable happened. It was the holiday period so it was all quietness at the Parish headquarters apart from a few people who had stayed on. Among those who were around was Mister Alozious Kiwanuka, the headmaster of the school. One evening, his wife went into labor and he rushed her to the dispensary. After examining her, the nurses told Kiwanuka to go back home and wait from there. By 4.00 am, he was still waiting. He had by that time, become anxious about the situation and condition of his wife. As a true and devoted Catholic, he kept on praying to the Virgin Mary and reciting the Rosary again and again.

The time was approaching 11.30 am and there was still no news from the dispensary. Kiwanuka had really become desperate. His house was directly opposite the dispensary so, he could monitor, from there, what was happening, which was very little. He was quite uneasy! Then something happened which broke him down!

Through his window, Kiwanuka saw one of the nurses rushing out of the dispensary and move in the direction of the Rectory as fast as her plump figure could permit her. Moments later, he saw her leading the two priests back to the dispensary. That was when he decided to act. He swiftly rushed out to intercept the three; but Father Verpooter sternly ordered him back to his house!

In the late afternoon of that day, an impromptu meeting was convened in the Parish Office. It was a good thing that the majority of the Parish employees were away on holiday. Otherwise the scandal-mongers among them would have posed a big problem concerning the nature of the baby Mrs. Kiwanuka had given birth to. It would have been an uphill task to contain them. So, four people gathered in the office to resolve on how to suppress the problems connected with that baby. The four were Father Verpooter, the two nurses, and Mr. kiwanuka. The notable absentees were Father Le Veux and Mrs. Kiwanuka. They could not even be seen anywhere around the Parish.

The meeting, or rather, the briefing, was shot and to the point. Father Verpooter did not beat about the bush. He put it squarely to the other three people that anything said there was for their ears only. Not a soul, by any means, was to hear of it!

The stability of the Church is paramount over all the other earthly matters,” he emphasized. “True Catholics don`t engage themselves in idle fruitless gossip! It`s a serious sin! What`s been decided here`s God`s will so, all of you, you must observe and safeguard the Lord`s will!” With a stern piercing look at each one of them in turn, he dismissed them.

On the following Sunday two days later, towards the end of Morning Mass, Father Verpooter requested the parishioners to specially pray for Mr. and Mrs. Kiwanuka. He explained that Mrs. Kiwanuka had had a difficult labor and had been rushed to Saint Anthony`s Hospital in Kampala.

Sadly, she had delivered a still-born after which she developed serious health complications requiring her to be detained there. She`s still there recovering her health and Mr. kiwanuka is naturally by her side. Pray for them!”

The priest was correct in saying that. The couple of Mr. and Mrs. Kiwanuka were in real need of prayers for the Divine intervention to ensure the stability and continuity of their marriage.

Two days before Christmas that year, Mr. and Mrs. Kiwanuka arrived back home in style. Late in the afternoon, they came riding on a brand new BSA Bantam 100 motorcycle. Apart from the bike, they had a number of other expensive domestic items they had acquired while in the city. It was a mystery how they had miraculously acquired all those goodies. Perhaps during their ‘grief’ they had met and got some rich benefactors from the city. Another interesting thing was that the fortunes of the two nurses at the dispensary surprisingly took on a skyward dive around that particular time as well. And lastly, again at that time, the youthful priest, Father Le Veux developed a very special interest in the affairs of a Catholic-run orphanage in Kampala. From then onwards, he made it his habit to go there every three days on average each week.

During the early 1950s, The Uganda Protectorate Government established the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), with the ultimate aim of spearheading industrial and agricultural development in the territory. To fulfill its mandate, the UDC management set up a number of commercial enterprises in the fields of manufacturing household requirements, plantation agriculture, hotel and tourism, and mining. A good number of them were located in the western part of the Protectorate. That was where one could see large tea estates with their accompanying tea processing factories, luxurious tourist hotels and lodges, game reserves, and mining concerns. As expected, all of them were managed by white expatriates. This meant that there was a relatively large white presence within the Greater Western Region of the Protectorate.

There are two interesting Ganda proverbs. The first one states that “The night is brighter than the day”. The second one says that “The truth is sharper than a knife”. By the time the years had rolled up to the beginning of the 1960s, the secretive infidelity activities of the white men in western Uganda with the native ladies had been laid bare for everyone to see. Those lusty white men really left permanent stamps of their time in the area in the form of hundreds of light-skinned copies of themselves.

The trip along the memory lane came to its end! In reality, it had taken just a few moments. Nobody, absolutely no one at all in the audience had had a hint that Dr. Musisi had been on such a long trip back in time. To them, he appeared to have taken just a brief pause, probably to reflect on what he was to say next. So, he adjusted his spectacles and went on with his address, giving a condensed commentary on each of the twenty chapters in his book. By the time he finished the last chapter, everyone listening had been moved about the position of the mixed-race Ugandans.

After he had spoken for something like thirty minutes, Dr. Musisi began to conclude his address. What he said in those minutes would probably never be forgotten by all those who heard him. He said, “My book is in a way a tribute to the hundreds or perhaps thousands of mothers like mine, who are scattered all over this country, who against all odds, struggled to provide people like me with an identity. The identity our fathers fought hard to deny us and conceal our existence. In another way, this book is also a humble appeal to those with the power, and those in the know, to help us identify and locate our paternal sides. I`m quite aware of the view held by our maternal relatives that we`re not black enough as they`re. That aside, we don`t doubt their unconditional love for us! On the other hand, to our fathers we were and still are not white enough as they`re, so, in my view, they took us to be skeletons or skulls that had to be hidden and locked away in their secret well-guarded cupboards. Well, ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, after having been locked up in those cupboards all this long, the skulls have broken loose. The cupboard doors have been opened. The skeletons, through this book – The Classified Files – have come out in the open. On behalf of all those skulls and skeletons, I`m pleading with you! Please, help them to find those people who locked them up those so many years ago. Surely these skulls and skeletons are the property of some people. They belong to some people. They have owners. Please help them to find those people. That is my humble plea. The plea I make on their behalf. Help us, ladies and gentlemen. You`re our hope! Thank you very much.”

The Guest of Honor, the Ugandan Minister for Gender Affairs rose to say a word. She made brief but touching remarks about the book and its author. Her speech was interposed with consenting clapping from the audience. In part, she said, “This is a welcome addition to the wealth of information for and about our country. I must say that to me, it`s a shocking revelation and at the same time, an interesting eye-opener. It is a soul-provoking book which I pray will go on to initiate positivity of attitude and outlook to life for all those who will read it. I congratulate Dr. Duncan Warren Musisi for a job well done and accomplished. He has done the whole of humanity a commendable job for which we can never be able to thank him enough.”

She then proceeded to perform the ceremony of launching the book The Classified Files by purchasing the first copy – a leather gold-coated commemorative copy autographed by Dr. Musisi – at the inflated price of Uganda shillings five millions. After her, each one of the dignitaries around bought a copy at a slightly lower price than that paid by the minister. By the end of it all, the entire consignment of the book that had been brought for the launch ceremony was sold out. The success of the book`s launch in economic terms was tremendous! Definitely, Dr. Warren was destined to laugh all the way to the bank. But was that really his only intention? Was getting money out of it the only reason why he had written The Classified Files?

I am Godfrey Kalyesubula, a citizen of Uganda, a country found in East Africa. I was born in 1962. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree from Makerere University in Kampala. For over thirty years I have been a teacher of English Language and Literature in English in a number of high schools in Uganda. Writing creatively is my passion and regular reading is part and parcel of my life. This story, The Classified Files, is one of a number of short stories I have written in the recent past. I live near Kampala, our capital city. I can be contacted on telephone numbers +256782598762 and +256705740730. My email address is


I am a Ugandan living near Kampala, our capital city. I am a teacher by profession who has been teaching English Language and Literature in English in high schools for over three decades. I love reading, both fiction and nonfiction. I am also very passionate about writing which I do all the time during my free time. In fact I hope to become a professional writer soon. ”Friendly Treatment” is one of my recent nonfiction writings.

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