Watching Myself Melt Away

Posted on 02. Apr, 2010 by in an appeal for help

Watching Myself Melt Away – D.Reid

It’s simply not fathomable for me to describe the anguish and levels of frustration I feel, having been effectively placed on house arrest in Kenya.

Whilst I am forced to humiliate myself by attending hearings at Kibera court …If you can call them that, for approximately 30-40 seconds every 6-9+ weeks. Maybe Kangaroo court is its more appropriate name, because it is clear to even me that the whole process is just being casually strung along so that those being paid to harass and frustrate my situation give good value for money. It is also a known fact amongst Kenyans that foreigners provide a great source of income so everyone likes to feed off them! They all do deals amongst themselves Lawyers, Police, Court officials and yes even the magistrates and I know it is true because I have had first hand experience. Yes it happens all over the world you find yourself in court and it takes time….but I doubt many find themselves still shut in a country after almost 12 months. Especially one they were not born or actually reside in, add no money, no income, no home, no internal support and facing possible jail in a country with one of the worse human rights records in recent years.

Here in Kenya you appear foolish when you have co operated fully with the so called justice system because the realisation dawns on you that the system is not about justice but whom you should have paid and when, to extinguish a problem and just make the nightmare go away. I never thought telling the truth could actually get me into so much trouble because Kenyan society is based on results but not ethically how you get them!

What can you do for your personal motivation, when you’re not even allowed to work so that you can self sustain, actually find something to eat, find a bed to sleep, or just keep away from harm or simple things like purchasing toilet paper…what the hell do they expect you to do every day for almost 365 days? To behave reasonably right, without breaking the terms of your bail, but you are left choice less instead to suck your family and friends finance’s and emotions dry, so dragging them also into your own deep misery and despair.

As I write this I have become homeless, unpaid rent on my small apartment in London is just another nail in my proverbial coffin, The 8 years I waited on the register doesn’t count or the 20 years with the Housing Association, so even if I were to finally have justice in court and return to the UK my status is simple…Homeless.

How do you adapt from seeing or speaking to your child every day to not seeing them at all for a whole year… not a word having passed between you, a picture, a kiss or cuddle. There is no place to go emotionally or mentally, when the guilt takes hold, it turns on you like a cancer suffocating all areas of your mind, yes eating away at the beautiful things you once did together and the best of times, almost negating them because of your overbearing situation. Time is none refundable; it’s not negotiable so when I stand in that court knowing they are wasting time…to me it is the dirtiest most inexcusable act imaginable.

I also never knew until now how much energy being constantly angry actually uses, the feelings and emotions that manifest from miss treatment and disregard. Added to this you watch your body and mental health deteriorate, in fact you are melting away due to various scenarios’s you have no control over.

A few weeks in Nairobi Industrial Prison is a good start, sharing a 50 year old toilet that cannot flush with 120 other men will cure you of a need to go – I’m proud of my two week record! I thank god I made friends fast on the first night because with no money you will sleep on cold stone floors rather than a more acceptable thin mattress and by morning your shoes will be gone and possibly your life. I still held onto my last crumbs of self decency and refused to fight in queues for slop no beast would eat, let alone a human being. But prior to this a week shoved in a Kilimani police station cell with temperatures pushing 100 degree’s, no windows or modern sanitation shared with 30 others in conditions pigs would cry about is a good start! Add more than 8 days without food, water and absolutely zero personal hygiene and I swear thoughts of suicide pay even the toughest head a visit. To get it simmering nicely just add a few assaults and serious threats from police topped with hours of personal accounts from other unconvicted detainees to frighten you to the point that its not sleep you dream of , more like death itself.

It becomes even harder to swallow when one see’s it is all just considered a normal part of Kenyan existence. Surprisingly it hurts as much to see others suffer too and know their bad treatment is unwarranted. These situations can bring out the worse in us but graciously also elements of decency and kindness. I clearly recall being beaten by 3 police officers and 2 detainees after my 12th June court appearance. Why you ask?, because I told these officers whilst returning from court in the police vehicle I was truly ashamed to be the same colour as them and share ancestry, due to their lack of humanity and respect for their profession. This beating which just made me more defiant was seen by few but heard by many. Afterwards I lay on the cell floor cuffed and shaking but quite happy I still had the power to irritate people! My heart was overcome by other men detained who carried me to another cell and laid me on a reasonable clean blanket on the concrete floor. They were instructed by an older man to wipe my hands and face and make me comfortable. How do you get comfort from a cell floor? But none the less they tried to offer me even their own food rations, water and even cigarettes. I was so overcome by their willingness to sacrifice I could not prevent the tears that ran down my face; a little human decency has a profound effect.

The time I saw whilst in Industrial Prison in Nairobi, a prison guard beat an inmate with a baton to the point, even I couldn’t believe he got up and managed to scurry away and I felt all those blows even from across the yard. Before Kenya I had never before seen these levels of inhuman behaviour and I will certainly never be able to accept or get used to it. So I stand by my stance that life is cheap here and mine is as cheap as any one else’s especially without money, if you cry for all the innocent people whom perish here you will never ever stop crying again.

Mr D.Reid (Thin, Very Stressed but Humble & Alive) Nairobi, Kenya,

3.10pm – Wednesday 24th March 2010

For a further sad reading on what is an incredible story

Del (Deree) Reid held on scandal in Kenya

A Statement of Truth – part 1

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.