- Posted October 20, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Everyday racism: Your stories
Part- 10 - Zambia-Police-Investigation
In the morning my colleague calls me with my ‘new’ bemba-name: ‘chilombo’ lets go eat breakfast !
First morning, while we were waiting in the big prisoner-cell my ‘mfu-tree’ – colleague (my colleague tried to explain to me his name, it was something like a big, big tree, maybe it is the biggest tree that can be found in Zambia, and after that tree he is named!) gave me the name ‘Chilombo’, and since that moment all of the inmates always called me ‘Chilombo’ – interesting enough is that when I was again outside (=released) in freedom, some people in the streets still call me ‘Chilombo’ – why do they know about my bemba-name ? But anyhow I like when a local (=indigene) person calls me ‘Chilombo’ – although I not exactly sure about the meaning of the word – something like : ‘whatever comes (happens), I can manage it, I can overcome it…!’
Again the police-officer controls if all of the prisoners are still here (> personal control) – we, the prisoners all cower in the vestibule and the police-officer calls one after the other by the name, the named prisoner then answers with a word in bemba (that I do not understand) and then he must go back into the cell – I must answer loudly ‘yes, sir’ and then as well I must go back into the smaller cell.
Then it is time for breakfast, and we are again called into the vestibule-area! I’m very much positively surprised and delighted that I do see my fiancée Petronella together with her friend Memory waiting outside, greeting me friendly, handing over to me a pot with some fine tasting food (chicken, egg, nshima) and a pepsi-cola.
The guard, a female police-officer now starts to talk with me (maybe as well she is surprised to see that the ‘muzungu’-prisoner has some friends/relatives that do visit him here), and she asks me if I knew these two women that do visit me and if I could tell their names to her? Of course I do know the two friendly women that do visit me and I’m proud to tell their names to the female police-officer.
After this joyful breakfast I and my colleagues go back into the cells again, but before returning into the smaller prisoner-cell I ask my fiancée : ‘Petronella, will you come to visit me again in the afternoon? And she replies: ‘Daniel, of course I will !!’ And I’m very happy, maybe even proud, because all of the others hear that me, the ‘muzungu’, I do have some nice friends (>what makes it better : 2 pretty nice girls!!) that will come to visit me again – not all of the inmates are visited by anybody…! Back in the smaller cell they can see me smile because the visit of my fiancée and her friend makes me feel very happy and lucky!!
Just now is the right time to take a shower! In the cell there is a water-tap! I can open the tap and the water flows into the toilet-area – to take a shower is very well possible, and it was a good idea to take some soap with me into the cell!
Later at about 10:00 hours I’m called to the office of the CIO (>Criminal Investigation Officer) and there I do meet Mr. Keith Katazo (Legal Aid Board Kasama, Lawyer) and I should now explain to him what happened; I’m pleased to meet Mr. Katazo and I start to report to him why I was arrested the day before – I tell to him that the police searched my house in the very early morning, that they did confiscate my electronic devices and that the police found some pornographic materials on my acer-laptop-computer. In the following I must in more details explain to him the events that took place 1 year ago while I was staying in Kasama for the first time, when I did meet that pretty good looking black lady…and what we together did in the hotel-room.
Mr. Keith Katazo confirms the opinion of the other police-officer that this is a very serious matter that in Zambia could be fined with some years in prison. I do still not believe what the legal experts tell to me, I still have the opinion that I did not do anything bad or wrong, and I can still not really understand why actually I’m hold at the Kasama-police-station and why I had to spend the night in the prisoner-cell. I’m sure that I’m treated wrong and bad by the police. I’m sure that to make some short (2-3 minutes) video-clips with my little digital photo-camera (Canon A1400, a smaller camera with less capabilities is in these days difficult to find) is nothing bad, wrong or illegally – I argue that for instance in my home-country Switzerland virtually everybody is producing at home some video-clips of this nature, it is only used for private purposes (>for instance: the couple, man and woman looks at their own privately ‘produced’ sex-video-clips while staying in their apartment) and this amuses and entertains these private people, it is not at all commercially used (for instance: sell the video-clips for money, etc.).
In this manner I explain my point of view but the lawyer Mr. Keith Karazo cannot be convinced by my argumentation and he repeats that this is in Zambia a very serious offence against the law of this country.