I picked up one the other day under a tree where a friend was having his hair trimmed by those outdoor barbers who have become ubiquitous in Bulawayo. Also there chatting with the barber was a cop I am acquainted with. The guy helpfully says to me, be careful about just picking up these papers in the street and reading them. I give a knowing laugh that he is warning me that someone might have used it as toilet paper, but the guy says, no dude Im serious. Then he explains, and it is not about hygiene considerations:
A man obviously minding his own business picked up one of these pro-democracy fliers just in front of the Western Commonage courts in Bulawayo there is also a notorious police station here.
As he was busy going through the flier, two men approached and asked him to tell them what Tsvangirai was saying. The man was bamboozled. Isnt you have read this piece of paper, now tell us what it is saying. The poor man was like who the fuck are you people? the two men were like, we are asking you politely and you are saying such rude things.
Turns out the two were plain clothes cops, and the cop under the tree tells me, these two wanted to take this poor man in and give him a thorough beating, but they realised the person they were dealing with was clueless about what they were talking about and the gravity of the offence, I might add.
So they let him off with a stern warning: dont go about reading these papers put on the streets by unknown people or else you will die for things you dont know (thats a direct translation from the vernacular they spoke).
And to me the cop says, When you see these papers and want to read one, just pick it up, put it your pocket and read it in the privacy of your home! Why? But I answered it myself to avoid being picked up by the spooks for reading subversive material.
I thanked the cop for the invaluable tip but in my mind yelled, Idiot! I suspected he was one of the said cops as the chap is already known in the locality as a super patriot and moron.
There you have it folks, careful what you read, you may not exactly die of a misprint, but political zealots may just not like what you read and you may die of that dislike from people with apparent dyslexia!
The mind control could be working overdrive ahead of elections, after all, havent some people been beaten up in the not-so-distant past for reading newspapers critical of Zanu PF? Certainly the Zimbabwe we do not want. First published by KubatanaPost published in: Opinions