Image by Zach_ManchesterUK via FlickrJoe Trippi sent me another message today about Roy Bennett. He has another blog post up. You can read it here.
Just some of what he says:
On the Mutare prison. “Emerging from the gates of Mutare remand prison and struggling to hold back tears yesterday, he said that his incarceration had been “a harrowing experience”.
He said: “I would not wish it on my worst enemy. There are people there who look worse than the photographs of prisoners in Dachau and Auschwitz. They get a handful of sadza [thick maizemeal porridge] and water with salt. Five people died while I was there, and their bodies were collected after four or five days. There are people there who have been awaiting trial for three years.”
I was receiving updates on Roy throughout his imprisonment that began on February 13th. I knew that a prisoner died in Roy’s cell and that the body remained in the cell for days before it was removed. A week or so later I learned that another prisoner had died in the cell next to Roy’s and that the body was left in the cell for days again. And I knew that food was scarce.
I learned stuff that I have to say didn’t make much sense to me. I learned that Roy had gotten so fed up with the conditions that he had started to organize the prison — and convinced the guards to let him lead his fellow prisoners in cleaning up the place. And I learned that a few days later the attitude of the guards changed and that they started to jump in with the prisoners in the cleaning effort. Could this possible be true? The first part sounded true — and my source was a friend I trusted but did he really win over the guards? I wasn’t sure until i read what The Times reporter found when he got to the Mutare Prison:
“The demeanour of the guards at the prison, which is close to Zimbabwe’s eastern border with Mozambique, was a testament to how fast the mood in the country is evolving. One of them told me excitedly when I arrived at the gates: “Mr Bennett is getting out today. Yes, we are happy.”
You really have to read Joe's blog to get the full impact. He is very passionate about this and we all should be. Robert Mugabe is a very evil man. I hope you will all read his blog and talk about this.