Defiant #31July protest organiser Jacob Ngarivhume said that during his incarceration at Harare Remand Prison alongside freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, kind prison guards told them that had become household names and this greatly encouraged them.
Ngarivhume and Chin’ono were arrested on July 20 and charged with inciting public violence. In total, the duo spent 43 days in detention, including at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
The Transform Zimbabwe leader further revealed that inmates who were awaiting trial for murder were actually their heroes as they looked after their buckets of food and also would warn them when Military Intelligence people were thrown into their cells to monitor them. He said:
I lived in a cell where at one point, Emmerson Mnangagwa (President) lived in, where Matemadanda (war veterans deputy minister) lived in (signatures imparted in the walls).
What encouraged us most was the solidarity we got from Zimbabweans.
We could be told by the guards that people are talking about you guys, you are becoming household names, a lot is being said about you.
So that really encouraged us during this senseless imprisonment.
Lawyers could tell us ‘don’t take any food, do not be seen by any doctor from prison. It was just they don’t, don’t and how do you do live like that!
This is the time we realised that our lives were at the hands of the oppressor and you could feel his power.
At remand prison, they placed us at the D Section, so we were staying with people who were going for trial for murder, armed robbery and rape charges.
70 % of those we were staying with were on murder, they could chat freely on how they murdered people, how they killed.
Within prison walls, they don’t hide how the committed the crimes so that they get assisted.
But again, these are the people who literally saved us, these are the young men who looked well after our buckets of food.
They would warn us when Military Intelligence people were thrown into our cells to monitor us, at one time, four of them were deployed and the guys warned us.
And the security of the prison would also warn us that ‘there are people that have been deployed to monitor you’ and we could put up with them. It was so scary.
They would really try to break your spirit, but we held on hugely by our conviction and also, of course, your prayers.