It was about 09:45 pm just after watching NTV news, I noticed the security light was off but the switch indicated on. My safety instincts implored me to get out and fix the light. Too high to reach from within, I moved out of the gate to use the outer ridge. Taking five steps backwards from the gate for a better view of what I had fixed, someone asked a question, “what time is the curfew?” Before I answered, two young policemen moved between me and my gate, the third at the back demanded an answer to his question. “07:00pm” I answered. “Come with us, you are under arrest for attempted murder.” They could not listen to my explanation of what I was doing outside my house, they instead asked for money to let me go, which I didn’t have and they took me to police.

The cells welcomed me with a horrible stench, a bucket full of urine rested on the right of the entrance, 21 other suspects sat next to each other with zero distance given the size of the circular metallic hut used as a police cell. I had to stand all night at the entrance to maintain social distancing. In there was Tony, he was arrested taking his wife to a clinic and she was asked to return home without her husband. Senyonga, another suspect assaulted a shop keeper for increasing supplies prices advantageously.

Exactly 08:45am the next day, we were called to make statements, I came in 7th. As I waited to make mine, a 42-year-old male walked in to report domestic violence while covering a deep cut on his head allegedly inflicted by his wife who spent a night at her ex-husband’s place for food to supplement her husband’s little supplies.

Shortly after, a 32-year-old man was brought by community leaders for assaulting his 9-year daughter to coma for spilling 1/4kg of maize flour meant for the days’ meal. He was followed by a young mother looking for her husband who had disappeared three days back when he got out to seek help for their two weeks old baby who was in pain the entire night. Her other two sons last had a proper meal the night their father disappeared.

The officer on duty was surprised upon writing my statement, I was wrongly arrested. He promised to put in a word for me to the OC station when he reports to office. My wife had contacted my uncle to look for me, he walked in to report a missing person’s case just as I completed the statement. He bailed me out. I am home with no flue neither cough, but worried I may be in incubation stage in case I contracted the virus while in the cell. I pray to God I did not catch the virus.