BEST READ OF MY WEEK: A DIALOGUE
The Case of the Valiant Torturer by Hama Tuma
An ex-torturer of the Red Terror is presenting his 'achievements' to the Derg's court. The court is going to punish him for complaining he was not getting enough 'anarchists' to torture and meet his quota:
"Well, you remember how the country suffered from lack of rain? We suspected foul play. A few priests who were preaching that God has cursed us, in other words saying that God was against the State, were arrested and brought to us. Within two hours, all the priests confessed that they were part of an anarchist plot. Using these confessions we grilled again around thirty anarchists we already had in custody and who had all confessed to being central committee members of their party. All of them now revealed that their party had sabotaged the rain. It was a stupendous success and the newspapers highlighted it, revealing that the anarchists were responsible for the drought and agricultural chaos."
Underneath Hama Tuma's flamboyant irony and witty satire, the stories (or I should say histories) recounted in this selection ('The Case of the Socialist Witchdoctor and other stories') send shivers to the soul and are quite disturbing.
... Hama Tuma again did I hear you say? ...