Kalek tribe was one of the neighbors of Lu tribe just like the Lang tribe. These three tribes were neighbors but before their tribe heads agreed to maintain peace amongst them, there were constant battles. They had followed this fiat for a long time even though behind the dark each tribe was preparing their warriors. Take for example when Ochieng' was eight years old. For the gold deposit near Lake Luwa, almost all the tribes around it wanted to fight. Were it not for the ancestors intervening, only God knows what would have happened.
Today, the Kalek tribe head was seated on his stool outside the house. He was smoking tobacco from his pipe while enjoying the breeze that swept past the trees around him before hitting him. Behind him were two powerhouses who stood like statues guarding him.
He suddenly saw three people walking towards him led by one of his gate men. He wanted to send them away but when he saw the man in the middle, he changed his expression and trembled a little. The man wore a lion hide woven with ostrich skin. On his head was a beautiful hat made of leopard skin. His movements were elegant and considering the muscular people beside him, it went without saying he was a man of great stature.
"I greet you Lokoit Tangkok that good morning."
Kalek tribe head stood and bowed respectfully before he greeted the man.
"Good Morning Mudembi Luvembe, long time no see." The so called Lokoit greeted laughing hotly.
"It has been a long time, let us get in and have some drink."
Compared to Lokoit, Mudembi looked like a slave before his master. This Mudembi was known to be ruthless to his people but timid before his fellow tribe heads. His tribe was one of the powerful amongst those around Lake Luwa only because they had a powerful prime minister who had gained his power by braving through battles. It was said that in terms of standing, he was higher than the tribe head himself. The tribe head was always timid before him like he could be before his fellow tribe heads.
Different tribes had their own ways of administration. The Lu people were led by the tribe heads who were assisted by the obscure division heads. The division heads were assisted by the chiefs who were assisted by the clan elders. There were also ministers at the tribe and division levels who were appointed by the division heads, approved by the tribe head and helped in one way or the other. In Lu tribe, only the chief's stool was hereditary.
In Lang tribe, the tribe head was assisted by the various chiefs of the large clans. The chiefs were assisted by family heads. They also had ministers who were appointed by the chiefs and approved by the tribe head. In Lang tribe, the tribe head and chief stools were hereditary.
In Kalek tribe, things were much different. The tribe was divided into several sub tribes. Each sub tribe was headed by a council of elders. These council of elders were answerable to the tribe head. The tribe head worked alongside the prime minister who with a group of ministers ensured the tribe head led the tribe in the right direction. Only the tribe head's stool was hereditary. That was why Mudembi was ruthless though he never evinced his ruthlessness because the prime minister put him in check. One qualification for being a prime minister was being a strong warrior. Other tribes also had their ways of administration.
The tribe heads were expected to know several languages so it was not surprising to see them communicate with a lot of ease.
"Why did Lang tribe head decided to visit me this time?" Mudembi asked after they were in their resting room and were drinking nicely prepared liquor.
"I would like you to join me in annihilating the Lu people." Lokoit said in a low tone.
"What?! I think you know how powerful that tribe is. I have spent a lot in grooming my warriors, I would not like to see my fortune being wasted just to help you destroy that tribe."
"The Lu tribe might be powerful but can it be powerful enough to go against us combined?"
"But I don't want to get involved in this battle." Mudembi said sternly but could Lokoit let go that easily? He had travelled for three days just to have this meeting, he had to convince this friend of his.
"You must consider your decision thoroughly my brother. Do you remember the land we are currently sharing with many tribes in Lu land?" He asked looking at Mudembi with scheming eyes.
"What is wrong about it?"
"Don't you see we are sharing that piece of land with even weak tribes. We get little than we should just because those tribes have their shares. I met one of my ancestors and he said it is right to have the land for ourselves."
"Your point exactly?"
"We do away with the Lu tribe and send away those other tribes from the land, then we have that golden land for ourselves. What do you think?" Lokoit asked smiling wickedly.
"When are you going to attack?"
"In four days time. We're going to attack from their strongest part."
"You mean the Kisum camp?"
"Then let me inform my warriors. I am going to take the ones using horses. We will be there with you."
Seeing his mission successful, Lokoit bid his fellow tribe head good bye and drove his horse away at a tremendous speed accompanied by his bodyguards.
"That Amollo Orengo is always a chesty fellow. Let us see how he will take this this time." After Lokoit left, Mudembi clenched his fist, showing a satisfied smile.
"The great 'jolweny'¹ of our Lu tribe, it is time to show that we need nothing but peace. If someone wants to snatch it from us, we will have to show him what we are made of. My 'jolweny', are you ready?!"
That was the Lu tribe head Amollo Orengo billowing in Kisum warrior camp. For the last two days, he had been with them, training diligently. Even though they did not know when the battle would take place, they had always train. Even if a surprise attack was made, they would only be affected a little before they neutralized the attack.
The warriors shouted at the top of their lungs. They were people who had left behind their families to join the warriors camp. The Lu tribe was always their first priorities. When they heard some tribe wanted to attack their tribe, they indulged themselves in severe training.
"For over eighty seasons we have maintained peace amongst ourselves, and someone is thinking that we are cats to wanton away with. We will have to show them what we, the Lu people are really are. This misunderstanding must end!" The tribe head roared again.
In Odindi clan, in Ong'am's compound, there was a commotion. Ochieng' had been missing for the last three days. The clan elders were here with the chief and the former chief. A battle would break out any moment, but their virtuoso had gone missing.
It is the nature of every man to turn to a maven during crisis. Since Ochieng' who had proved to be the most powerful person in the clan had gone missing, the upper echelons of the clan had to be down in the mouth. Of course the ordinary civilians had not been informed about the incoming war for them not to affright. This included the chief's wives and the former chief's wives. Not even Apeleka and her mother knew.
Apeleka became sick the day she did not see her man return home three days ago. Not even Jakony had come to inform her where that man of hers was. Little did she know that Jakony was constantly used by their team to obtain information on the current state of affairs of the enemy.
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