Tribulations of Mark: Part 6
The Court Room
Continued from Part 5
The police land-rover drove along Moi Avenue switching between lanes without courtesy while overtaking. The police vehicle was carrying a group of around eight suspects. At the back of the land-rover sat three stone-faced police officers preventing the suspects from jumping out and making a run for it. The way they held their guns suggested that they were ready to turn anyone into history by the simple act of pulling a trigger.
Despite their expressionless faces, the officers were trying to befriend the suspects by asking if there was anyone ready to talk. All the suspects remained mum, with sullen faces. Looking at them, you could see that most of them had just been picked from the streets as they looked for their day to day bread. Two or three looked like real criminals, but it was hard to tell.
“You mean you don’t have any money with you?” One of the officers asked. “Even you in the gray suit. You can buy your freedom.” He added as an afterthought pointing at Mark with the muzzle of his gun. None of them spoke and this made him give a mirthless grin, “then today you will be guests of the government.”
A Kenyan Police Vehicle
- Tribulations of Mark:- Part 1
The clock on the wall struck 5:30 PM but his strap watch indicated that it was 5:31. Then he decided to crosscheck the time on his mobile phone, it contradicted the two because it indicated that it was 5:29. He was amused by the time difference of th
- Tribulations of Mark: Part 2
Mark gasped and his eyes opened wider in befuddlement. They left for where? He vomited the words involuntarily. I dont know. Esthers colleague said. Then a little latter, who knows it is members day, time for Nairobians to enjoy their hard ea
- Tribulations of Mark: Part 3
Nairobi clubs, bars, joints or whichever name you give them, are always a beehive of activity. Especially on weekends from Friday which many people prefer calling members day, these clubs are always filled with revelers. Most of the well to do Nair
- Tribulations of Mark: Part 4
So many things had happened to him within a very short span. All these happenings had befuddled Marks mind. After being thrown out of Porcupines Inn, he had thought of what best to do. What he realized was that he could not go back to the pub or wai
- Tribulations of Mark: Part 5
Mark knew of one thing, he did not feel like waking up. His body was still tired and aching. The throbbing inside his head had subdued but not completely. He decided to call in sick at the school he taught. He had issues to solve. And since it was st
His Handcuffed Fist Was Shaking in Anger
Mark just stared at the three cops. He was so angry that he felt his handcuffed fists shaking. He had been wronged and instead of the guilty ones paying for their crimes, it was the offended ones who were suffering. In a morally corrupt world, the guilty ones had their way and say.
The police vehicle came to a sudden stop near Jeevanjee Gardens. Before they could know what was happening, two more suspects lifted high in the sky were thrown inside the land-rover like bags of maize. They lay prostrate for a moment before waking up and looking for a place to sit in the now overcrowded vehicle.
The police vehicle swerved suddenly making them bump into each other. They found themselves inside Central Police Station. They were pushed, shoved and kicked as they came out of the vehicle and then headed towards the reception area where they would be booked in.
The place was a beehive of activity as people were coming in and going out. Suspects coming in as free men and ending being held as criminals waiting for judgment. Whether you were guilty or not, it did not matter. In Kenya, a suspect was always guilty until proven innocent.
The Suspects Were Harassed
The place was chaotic and demoralizing. Orders, commands were shouted by harsh officers with sagging paunches. The suspects were being harassed without a care of their human rights. Mark, despite being angry was worried. He did not know which charge would be preferred against him, he knew it was very easy to be framed and end up with a charge like ‘robbery with violence’. When the charge sheet came, the crime was one he had not committed, it read, ‘being drunk and disorderly’. For that, it meant they would be handled as petty offenders. They would be taken to court that very same day.
The petty offenders were taken to a cell as they waited for their names to be called. It was filled to capacity with other petty offenders who had been arrested over the weekend. They were pushed inside and the door closed shut. Inside it was suffocating with so many people crammed into such a small space. The walls of the small prison were cold and sweating. There was much noise coming from the petty offenders. Some were calling their friends and relatives using borrowed mobile phones, while others were silent and wore sullen faces.
It was fifty six minutes later when they were taken to the courtroom, and it seemed like an eternity to Mark. He was tired and he had sweat coming from every pore of his body. The offenders had been grouped according to their crimes. The largest of the group is the one of those found to be drunken and disorderly. It was mostly comprised of young men, some barely twenty-one years of age.
The Charges Were Read to Them
All of them were made to stand on the bench and then the charge was read to them. Mark was not listening to the bespectacled prosecutor as he read the charge. Neither was he listening to the fat-faced judge as he asked the group if they accepted the accusation. He was deep in thought and lost in his own world. Questioning himself. Finding no answers to his own questions.
It is only after when he heard the other co-accused persons say, ‘yes your honour,’ in unison that his mind came back into the courtroom. He starred at the judge and tried to focus his wandering mind on him as he flipped some papers in front of him. He saw him pick one sheet of paper and bring it close to his fat face. The judge cleared his throat violently.
“You have been fined two thousand shillings or four months in jail.” He reached for his gavel and struck it against a sound block to punctuate the ruling.
© 2011 Patrick Kamau