KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - This amusing exchange had occurred in court between two tribal leaders during the British rule of Sudan.
It happened between the chief of Wad Ramli area and the chief of the Abdallab tribe (both districts adjacent to Khartoum to the North.
The story says Wad Ramli’s chief Saroar Ramli was accused by the Abdallab Chief, the Mak, of usurping a ranch (locally called the sagya) belonging to Alabdallab people.
The Mak took his case to court, then presided over by a British magistrate.
It was all set for the hearing and the court guard shouted his usual summon: Mahkama (court is in session).
All eyes in the crowded court were fixed on the two men. They were not just two men. They were the de facto rulers of two big clans, men to count with.
Before the court would go into session, the Mak, the Abdallab Chief, raised his hand for permission to say something.
Many in the court were appalled by this move. Some thought the Mak was reneging from his claim.
Others wondered how dare this man talk in the presence of the fearful British judge.
“This man wants to talk beneath the British judge,” or so they put it in the local dialect.
Then the Mak went on: This man, he said pointing to Chief Ramli, is the lord of this district. He is our leader. And in recognition of his position, I disown my place in this court for him. He comes to sit on this chair and I will stand before the court as an accused!”
The perplexed British judge had a long pause trying to figure out what was happening before him between these two foes.
Here chief Ramli shock his spacious garment, saying in a loud voice: I, Mayor Saroar Ramli, say before the honorable court that I am disowning this land to the Mak. I don’t want anything.
All along this drama, the British judge chose the role of the spectator, pecking his fingers on the law books before him, while the Mak went on with his case:
The Mak: A word please Mr. Judge. I can emerge victorious from this court. But I would not permit people to say the Mak had defeated his master. I swear by divorcing my wife not to do it!
The British Judge didn’t know what to say, while Mayor Ramli took all the scene, saying: It is all right, brother, I am giving you the sagya on the river bank instead of this one. And God help us both!
But the Mak massaged his big moustache and addressed the judge: I swear to the name of God I would not take this river sagya. All the year round this sagya is feeding Ramli’s’s many guests. How can I take it all for myself. I swear to divorce my wife not to do so!
When the exchange reached this point, the British judge rubbed his hands in wonder and ordered the guard to announce the hearing finished…. Possibly saying to himself: Look at the Sudanese..They want to teach us a moral lesson!
*** The story was retold by journalist Abdalla al Shiekh in al Mowakib newspaper.
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