The skyrocketing humidity of the past few days was replaced by a cool breeze on our sticky skin. It was Friday night when most party people were thinking of having fun until dawn. Others were looking forward to homely pleasures with their families. In a police cell a man was chained naked to a chair. Was this a scene from a movie? No, it was the stark reality of our horror. Humiliating a man is like ripping off his dignity and denying him of his right to privacy. It is a form of masculine rape.
True it is that nobody likes to be robbed. It makes one angry and scared to come face to face with a robber in one’s own house. How dare he enter my sanctuary in the first place and how dare he steal my precious possessions bought with my hard-earned money! Why doesn’t he work like any reasonable and responsible human being if he wants to acquire something? Buy it and not steal it! So your only thought is to see him behind bars and to pay for his crime of theft.
However, once arrested, he is put in a cell until tried in court. He is also allowed to have a lawyer to protect him from any form violence on his person.
If he uses violence on the police, then they are allowed to use force to overpower him. That is all. Chaining him naked to a chair is like committing a crime. He should be put in a cell and treated like a human being. When he is tried and found guilty for the crime he committed, then he goes to prison to serve his sentence.
The police should not be allowed to interrogate suspects unless they are accompanied by people whose religion is honesty, integrity, an impartial sense of justice, humanity, compassion and logic. Suspects will bow down eventually before honesty and integrity.
Wearing the police uniform means enforcing the law to protect all citizens so that they feel safe to move about. Wearing the police uniform does not mean exerting power and terrorising people, and eventually committing crimes themselves.
In the past, people lived in patriarchal or matriarchal communities. The good thing was that within the community, they had their set rules for living and lawbreakers were fairly dealt with. The Old Testament, for example, has plenty of advice to give to thieves and robbers. They had to give back and often even more than they had stolen. Being born and bred and living within a community, a lawbreaker had a sense of right and wrong. Finally, he would admit his guilt and accept to bear the consequences of his actions. No taxpayers’ money was spent to feed him. He had to work to pay back what he had stolen.
In today’s society, we have tougher lawbreakers and coupled with drug taking, they become the toughest lawbreakers, and the police are having a tough time dealing with them. Again we need to educate the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society so that they do not have to resort to drug taking, breaking into houses, stealing and attacking people.
Let us not rob people of their dignity. Let the black sheep be punished for their crimes. In Africa, we are known as a fair and working democracy. Let us continue to be proud of our police force and feel safe with them!
Another Friday night and the skyrocketing humidity is still sticky on our skin but our hearts are filled with joy! Democracy has prevailed and a man’s dignity is restored. Thank you lawyers for banding together to fight for justice and obtaining it !