Linda Masarira | There should have been someone to vindicate me. Who would feel my pain, my anger, my distress? I was suffering for speaking out and severely assaulted by one Inspector Kufankomwe on the 6th of July 2016, the day I got arrested. Four police officers pushed me and I fell on to the grimy prison floor which was engulfed by the stench of stale urine. Every muscle in my face ached from the numerous slaps I had received from Kufankomwe the PDIO Southerton police station I later learnt. He was driving one of the police vehicles that made U turn having gone past me in Mopane Drive, Mufakose as i was looking for transport to go to town. A Toyota Hilux with no number plates which was the fourth car and trailing the police vehicles entourage stopped, pointed at me and made a phone call which made the other police vehicles to return to where I was. My right ear was painful inside and there was a sharp continuous sound like a siren. My mind kept wandering to assault incident in Mufakose, I had suffered police brutality again for the 5th time in less than a month. I was slapped several times, carried like a sack by male police officers and thrown in the police truck that was parked by the side of the road.
The iron bars of the doors slammed shut. I struggled to adjust my eyes to the dim lighting as my eyes scanned the cells. It was cold and i was the only one in the cell. I spotted two filthy, smelly blankets on one of the concrete beds in the cell, i couldn’t even warm myself with them as they were drenched with stale urine.
My eyes were swollen from the impact of being thrown and hitting against the police shields in the back of the truck. WHY? I was a victim of human rights activism. Fighting for justice, freedom and peace had got me behind bars. I found strength to focus, prayed to God asking him to strengthen me and to protect me from agents of this evil regime of a failed state. My only comfort was knowing that God was my strength and would give me justice.
I grew up hearing that “life is unfair” and here I was illegally detained, bruised, suffering emotionally and stressed because i didn’t even know the charge. Why is there so much injustice, lawlessness and hatred in this country? I thought to myself. There was no other option but to accept my fate. I strongly believed that God is a God of justice and that in due time He was going to set me free. What made me strong was my my blind faith and knowledge that I was made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), God is just, loves justice and hates injustice so naturally i hate injustice too and was being persecuted for fighting for justice which is everyone’s fundamental constitutional right.
The police informed me that they were still looking for the appropriate charge to level against me the following morning. The law and ordrr detectives were clueless as we were just dumped in their offices. I asked myself if this was God’s design. Every police officer at Harare Central wanted to have a glimpse of me as I had been labelled a hooligan by Charity Charamba the ZRP spokeswoman on ZBCTV news. I was only informed of my charge 30 hours later. The charge read: Obstruction of pedestrians and vehicles and i laughed. Everywhere i was taken by the law and order CIDs other officers would exclaim saying”is this Linda Masarira the hooligan?” I was taken to court 53hours later and denied bail…
Extracts form MY PRISON DIARY 2016
Now here I am waiting impatiently to go to Mbare magistrates court 2 tomorrow morning at 08:30h for the ruling…I still believe that God is a God of justice. My determination to succeed is strong, failure is not an option.
“INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE” Martin Luther King jnr.
Linda T Masarira
Human Rights Defender