Friday 13th December 2097;
IN 2011, NUCLEAR ENERGY WAS discovered in Kenya. Sooner than later, nuclear plants were built all over the country.
Sixty years later, one of the reactors in Nairobi exploded. The radiation it spewed was 10 times Hiroshima’s. Over a million people died from the exposure. Another seven million were exposed to date. The result was a trail of cancers and genetic abnormalities.
Now, another wave of the tragedy was beginning. Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) reported a 45 per cent increase in birth defects.
The president had decided on a permanent solution—to shut down all the plants.
President Olivia Chivala Munyi-Lee left her impromptu cabinet meeting in the middle. The UN was calling. Despite refusing to take the calls, the White House persisted.
She knew what the White House, headquarters of the United Nations, wanted—to threaten her again with sanctions and God knows what else if she did not change her stand on shutting down all the nuclear plants in the country. Hell, come what may, she was going to. It was her country, her turf.
An hour later, her motorcade glided along Mombasa Road to the plant’s site that had exploded 25 years before. It was the 26th Memorial of the tragedy, just after commemorating the 134th Jamhuri Day.
“Twenty-six years today, we’re gathered here to commemorate the tragedy that robbed us of our beloved, men and women who suffered most from the mistakes of our actions. Others gave up their lives and future to save this country—firemen, Red Cross workers, volunteers, disaster managers, our gallant Kenya Defence Forces personnel and those who came to build the first shield to entomb the reactor.
“We lost those dear and close to us in that tragic accident, but the pains it caused will live with us for generations to come. Genealogies were forever altered—inoperable tumours, mental retardation, genetic configurations, and other effects of the radiation.
“Let us put an end to this. Let’s all say ‘never again’. Let’s all unite and say NO to the West who’ve been threatening us with sanctions and all if we take this bold step.
“Today, a new steel dome will seal this reactor for good. The sarcophagus will be forever a memorial for the lives lost 26 years ago, and all other nuclear plants all over the country will be shut down.”
The crowd cheered and clapped, and reporters scrambled for space as their camera flashes blinded the 13th President, CGH, and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya.
Olivia paused as though for effect, scanning the crowds. It was just about time she dropped the bombshell—she was running for another term (against the constitution).
From the corners of her eyes, she glimpsed someone she knew, her principal advisor and husband, and smiled at him; a fraction of a nanosecond before she knew a 12.7mm bullet had hit her from seven kilometres at the speed of light, spattering her brains all over.