I was not surprised when I read reports that ZimRights director, Okay Machisa, cried in court when his bail hearing failed to be heard at the High Court.
A lot of people who have never been through the same ordeal will just take it lightly. Every man reaches a breaking point in life regardless of how strong they are. To miss an opportunity for freedom breaks one’s soul. Words like “Further remand” coming from the judge or magistrate makes one go hysterical.
Let me give you a little preview what the day is like for an accused person on remand.
In the morning at 9am you get served plain porridge or brown water called tea with bread crumbs (donated leftovers from bakeries). In the afternoon its sadza and boiled cabbage, same for the evening menu. On a good day it’s sadza and boiled beans with some groundnuts. Bedtime starts at 3pm, not mentioning the time you sit in line to get counted. Your bed linen depends on how generous your inmates will be. You may get only two see-through blankets and if you have cigarettes you may trade for more, same as for the uniforms. Two cigarettes will get you a not so clean uniform. If you are a non-smoker too bad because those cigarettes you would have traded will give you sleepless nights, as fellow inmates will be smoking stress out all night long. Visiting time is another moment of sadness because depending on your crime you will be in leg irons and handcuffed to another inmate. And if you don’t believe me ask someone who did prison time in Zimbabwe about the leg irons. If I tell you about the sanitary facilities you may miss your lunch.
Now this is the reason why Okay Machisa cried. He is in prison. His freedom is limited to between meals and bedtime. It breaks one’s spirit; it makes a grown man cry.
Ask the 45 of 2011 they cried too.