(There is pandemonium in the courtroom as aide de camps escorting the police High Command wants the Court Clerk to shut up, saying the police cannot be taught what to do even in court)
Court Clerk: Silence! You might be police officers, but this is a court of law and you have to observe court decorum.
All rise as honourable Mbadwa enters the court room!
Judge Mbadwa: It is not often that you have the courtroom filled with officers and their men, seeking justice instead of enforcing the law. This is a positive development in the dispensation of justice because it shows that no one is above the law.
I notice the Chief Inspector of Police Rasta Kajama has been escorted by members of his High Command and I have been made aware that on behalf of the service, they want to make an application to the court. Mr Chief Inspector step forward and address the court.
Kajama: Thank you my Lord. I don’t know whether I would be allowed to recognise commissioners that make the command in this court, but they are all here. Most of them had to travel from the policing regions they control and those based at headquarters, didn’t want me to travel alone. My Lord, you know with funding from the British Government, we embarked on a police reform exercise to turn the Nyasaland Police Force into the Nyasaland Police Service.
But decades after the reform, we have noted several challenges that have necessitated this application. We want to revert to a police service because we feel we can only do better as a force.
My Lord, modesty and law enforcement do not go hand-in-hand. Why am I saying this? It is becoming increasingly difficult for us to engage crowd control without slapping one or two deviants. It is not easy to get information from suspects without pinching them here and there. Yet, every time journalists and human rights organisations cry foul on the way we conduct our operations.
You see My Lord, they are accusing us of going overboard in executing our duty. Do you remember the uproar that was caused by the beating of innocent Chancellor College students by our officers as captured by a cellphone video? And just last Thursday, someone claiming to be a journalist corresponding with foreign news agencies wanted to capture us teaching a lesson or two to wayward vendors in Blantyre and we had to teach him a lesson or two, too, by slapping him a bit.
But hey they say that was wrong. My Lord, what is wrong with journalists? Why do they always want to interfere with our work? Atolankhani timawafunatu because amadzimva. We will open a case of conduct… for some of them!
Don’t they know that during an operation everything that moves assumes the identity of an enemy and our boys want an experimental ground to show that they are in control?
We usually get these excesses, which could have been acceptable if we maintained the name of a police force. To prevent further skirmishes with activists and human rights campaigners, we hereby ask the court to allow us to revert to the police service so that we can teach some people a lesson or two. We want to use every resource in ensuring law and order and even if it means using torture, applying sjamboks or bare hands, so be it. Thank you, My Lord.
Mbadwa: This is a straightforward case. You don’t just reform by changing the name, but in deeds as well. Your service is still leaving in the past while times are changing daily. A police service that is not responsive to the needs of a democratic society is just as good as it is dead. Many lives, including of those who were barbarically butchered on July 20 a few years ago, have been lost at the hands of an archaic police. If you are not ready to reform, this court will order that we replace the entire system starting from the high command until we have a reformed police. By the way, are you still training your boys on the essence of harassment as if Nyasaland is a war zone? As for journalists, what is wrong with their taking your pictures of your work if you really don’t harass people?
Well, your application has been rejected, sir. n