• Willis Olilo Opose narrates to Nathan Ochunge how he was mistaken for a dead man
  • He escaped lynching and finally gave his life to Christ

Memories are still fresh in the mind of a 24-year-old man who spent two days in a mortuary after police thought he had died following an attack.

Willis Olilo Opose, who was a renowned gangster at Ebusakami Enyaita in Luanda sub-county, Vihiga, together with his friends formed an outlawed gang that used to terrorise area residents.

Olilo said they would attack people at night, especially when there was a funeral in a village.

He said they also used to walk with crude weapons such as pangas, clubs and sharp knives.

“Nobody crossed our path unharmed. If we wanted money or something from anyone, we just went and took it by force,” he confessed.

One day, at a disco matanga at Esamwenyi village at Kima town back in 2015, they were attacked while going back home.

“Thieves had just robbed one of the shops at Esamwenyi and when we heard people screaming for help, we headed in the direction. We got there, three men armed with pangas and other crude weapons. On reaching the scene, the crowd turned on us, suspecting that we were the thieves,” he said.

The Class Seven dropout said they were immediately surrounded by a mob of over 500 people who rushed to the scene from the funeral and beat them thoroughly.

“One of them took the panga I was carrying and slashed my mouth. That is how I lost my teeth"

“One of them took the panga I was carrying and slashed my mouth. That is how I lost my teeth. One of my friends escaped unhurt but my colleague and I were beaten senseless and I lost unconsciousness,” Olilo said.

“Police came and picked our ‘bodies.’ When I came to, I realised that my friend had indeed died. The police stopped their vehicle on the way to the hospital and hit me on the head with a gun,” he claimed.

Olilo said that the knock on the head rendered him unconscious again.

He woke up at 3am and found himself on top of dead bodies at Mbale Hospital Mortuary.

“I started screaming and the gatekeepers came to see what was happening. They thought that I was a ghost and ran away. They closed the door behind me despite pleading with them that I wasn’t a ghost,” he said.

Olilo said that after two days in the mortuary, one of the guards decided to call a doctor who came and examined him.

“I was admitted to hospital under tight security and was eventually discharged after healing and gaining my strength,” he said.

According to his elder brother, Ibrahim Okutu Opose, they had started Olilo’s burial arrangements, but were happy when they heard he was still alive.

Olilo revealed that after the incident, he decided to give his life to Christ.

“I gave my life to Jesus Christ after realising that what I was doing was wrong. I decided to change for good and secured a job in Luanda town where I used to sell mutura. After two years, I called it quits and started hawking eggs,” Olilo said.

He added that, “On a good day, I can make sales of between Sh3,500 and Sh4,000. I am now self-reliant and even taking care of my brothers.”

Olilo is appealing to Good Samaritans to help him buy three more carts for hawking boiled eggs and sausages to expand his business.