Letter from a Catholic on Death Row
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Dear Soldier of the Cross
I greet you in the name of the Trinity and into the intercessions of our Blessed Lady Mother Mary. To start with, I feel honour bound to express my sincere apology for taking time out of your busy schedule. It is undoubtedly true that it never crossed your methodical mind that you would receive a missive from the person of I, William Kamoyo on death row ward in Kabwe, Zambia. I came across your Church's address in a newspaper entitled 'The Universe', Sunday May 11, 2008.
In fact, it is as a result of having a week long heated consultation with the Surpreme Being in prayer that the decision to contact you was arrived at. In other words, God has disabused me of the notion that it would be an unsuccessful attempt to establish a life-long friendship with the parishioners of St Mary Magdalen. Dismiss such a notion from your mind! God rebuked.
I think I have something to say about myself and my family. I was charged with murder on the 9th June 1992 at the tender age of 19. Trial started in May 1993 and on the 12th June 1995 the jury found against me. On 13th June 1995, I appealed to the Supreme Court against sentence. To date (i.e 13 years has passed) I haven't yet attended the hearing of the appeal case possibly because the case record is lost.
My family returned to our mother country Tanzania in East Africa 13 years ago. All my brothers and sisters are victims of illiteracy and live in straitened circumstances. I convicted William Kamoyo left schooli in Grade 8 in 1998 at the tender age of 14. As of now I am contemplating to resume my academic study through distance learning from Grade 10 to 12, should one who has social conscience sense the need to pay for my study.
Although my freedom behind bars is of two aspects, that is spiritual and intellectual, the thirteen year delayed appeal case and the general lack of necessities of life tend to lie heavy on my conscience. Anyway, as one who trusts in Divine Providence, I have to take it to the Lord in prayer and accept unhappiness as a normal part of life.
I think you would agree with me that those persons whose lives reflect the light of Christ can, by their words and action encourage and direct us as we strive to draw closer to God in our daily lives. Time spent with these Saints whether through their writings or in person can be a vibrant time of spiritual growth. I say this to the Glory of God to all the prayers you continue to send to the most far flung corners of the globe and to the honour of the men and women in your unity.
You know what? I have always had a yearning to get in touch with brothers and sisters in Christ across the sea who could act as a huge source of much friendship, comfort, moral, spritual and physical support. That is why I have written this missive to you with a view that you would get a chance to pass it onto the flock or perhaps you would prefer to read it out to the flock inside your Church building on Sunday. If not, I wouldn't mind if you put my name and address on the internet.
I regard you all as Soldiers of the Cross who are not only touched by the sight of the Sheep but also by hearing the voice of a bleeting Sheep in a complex situation. Of course, I am out of your sight but not out of your heart of gold. From the would-be friends, would you mind to send me a Bible, DVDs and some varities of magazine? Such materials can be used by God to embrace me into His Family irrespective of the bars and guards that surround me. Not only that, such materials can also be used by God to assure me of His Love, care, concern and holy presence. It would be kind of you if you would sense the need to send me essentials such as toiletries, shaving razor/cream for beards, sneakers size 7, or anything you may think of.
For this moment I finish my 4-page missive, hoping so much that in the short run I will have to add my faith to yours/theirs, by laying hands on your letter or Christmas card to me.
Receive the blessing of the Supreme Being and His Unconditional Love to you all.
Yours in His Glad Service
Maximum Security Prison
Death Row Ward
PO Box 80915