By Faith-Haushona Kavamba
“MY dear, how do you expect us to find who robbed you if you don’t even know what they look like? What about those (the police officers) who were not there, how will they know?” a female officer from Wanaheda police station asked me on Monday afternoon.
This harsh statement is the least offensive thing that I have heard from the police in the last six days.
I was robbed at the gate of Ramatex where I had gone to cover a show on Saturday night. My companion and I arrived at the event a few minutes past 20h00 and because it was dark we assumed that the group of men pacing about by the gate were security.
This is the standard for most, if not all shows, that take place at the venue because it is a dangerous area. Police and security usually stand at the very first gate to ensure that the attendees are not victims of crime.
However on this occasion, this was not the case. I found myself engaged in a tug of war with six or seven men who were determined to rob me of everything I had on me. The instigator was a tall man, twice my size who first greeted me before trying to yank my bag out of my grasp.
When I resisted and yelled at him to let go, his other companions surrounded me and began to shove me violently, demanding I let go of the bag; which I did but I begged them to take the money and leave me with the bag but that was met with mocking laughter as they skipped off to enjoy their plunder.
My companion ran into a house across the street, where the inhabitants told her to stay in until the robbery had ended or she too would be robbed. A couple of other guys standing at the gate moved a few feet from me so they would be caught in the commotion of the robbery.
They all knew what was happening to me, they all heard my loud screams but no-one came to my aid. It was none of their business, it wasn’t happening to them so they stayed out of it. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had met particularly violent robbers, I could have been raped or murdered with people around me doing nothing.
But my breaking point came when I was at the Wanaheda police station, where I was treated with so much indifference, one would have sworn I deserved the attack on me.
We had to wait for what felt like an eternity before the officer could help us, although the station was practically empty, with only one man giving a statement on his assault and another group loitering by the benches.
When the officer eventually addressed us, she told us to wait for the next shift to start as she was about to go home. Clearly I was not worth the 10 minutes it would take her to jot down my statement and give me a CR number.
When the next shift arrived, we had to wait another lifetime for them to help us because some were too busy on social media and the others were too busy in banter with a deranged man who is evidently a regular at the station.
The line of question and the attitude were appalling. The female officer who took down my statement was not sympathetic at all and made me feel like I was bothering her and sighed so often one would think she was being paid for it.
The second female officer called me on the Monday, for no reason but to taunt me about how they wouldn’t be able find the suspects because I couldn’t recognise them, although I had reiterated a dozen times that it was dark and there was no lighting.
She called to re-enforce the fact that my property was lost for good. She really had no reason to call, save for wanting to taunt me and be rude as if I was not scarred enough by the incident.
Right after the incident I was angry at my robbers. I was angry that my brothers, instead of protecting me under the frightening blanket of darkness even if they didn’t know me violated me. I was angry that my brothers treated me with so much disdain and violence. I was angry because I know I was not the first and I will not be the last, I am angry that I have become a statistic.
But nothing compares to the fact that I am angry for what I have lost, Yes, I lost my camera, my phone (with my memories) my identity documents, but most saddening is that I have lost faith in not only my community but the police.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015