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Outrageous police absurdity

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The three Counselling Services Unit (CSU) staff who were arrested Monday in Harare and transferred to Bulawayo have finally been released on bail. They’ve been charged with causing malicious damage to property, and now have to report at Harare Central weekly pending trial.

A Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights statement reports:

According to State prosecutor Marlvin Nzombe, the three CSU representatives together with some unidentified individuals smeared some MDC graffiti on an information centre located in Mpopoma high density suburb in Bulawayo 07 October 2012 in contravention of Section 140 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. The State claimed that the CSU senior staff members inscribed the words “MDC” and “MDC Chinja Ndizvo” on a bill board and on a durawall surrounding the information centre.

Seriously? Three nights in detention over some graffiti. And graffiti that the people you’ve arrested clearly had absolutely nothing to do with?

Let me get this straight:

You raid my office, intimidate my clients, threaten us with tear gas, steal my computer, find some spray paint I bought in July, decide this MUST be the VERY SAME SPRAYPAINT used in Bulawayo in October, arrest me, lock me up for three nights, move me to Bulawayo in an open truck, handcuff me, take my glasses, and finally release me.

Whereupon I have to pay you $100, give you my passport, and am obliged to come see you in town every Monday for who knows how long.

All because someone in some city more than 350 kilometres from where I live sprayed some graffiti that you don’t like. Where is the recourse here? You mess me around for no apparent reason, and I have to pay you for the privilege of it?

Honestly. Even as I write it, it doesn’t make sense. You wouldn’t believe it if you read it in a book or saw it in a movie. So why do we let our police force indulge in such absurdity?

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