(Continued from Daring the Wolves III)
Christopher is roughed up as he is taken into the cells. The cops take his shoes, his belt, his phone, his tie, and his keys. Christopher is thrown into a filthy cell. Immediately he gets in, he steps on something wet that he suspects to be urine. The room is full of drunkards, some singing, some snoring, some hurling insults at imaginary enemies. If there are sober people in that room, he cannot tell; it is pitch dark. Gakondo Police cells are infamous for their filth.
He knows that there is an operation going on to take over the school, and he fears that this time the wolves might succeed. With the kidnapping of Bernard, and his own arrest, the forces of good seem to be losing. He tried to plead with the police to let Eunice go, but they stubbornly refused. He does not know that she was later released.
Owino finds Eunice crying just outside the police station. She is a strong woman, but he can understand her frustration. He hugs her and then leads her back to the police station, where he asks the officers to allow him see Christopher. They decline; he demands to see the OCS. He is informed that the OCS has left for the day.
“Look Eunice, the best we can do for Chris right now is to find him a lawyer who will represent him in court tomorrow. Have you called his wife?” Owino asks as they head out of the police station.
“No. I have not even called Bernard’s wife.”
“Call both women as I try to get a lawyer.”
Time seems to be going very slowly in the police cell. Christopher wonders how he will survive the night. He is hungry, tired and sleepy but the stinking room is filling him with nausea. How things can change in hours! A few hours ago he was in his posh office strategizing on how to help Bernard ensure that Gakondo High School keeps soaring. Now he is in a dingy cell, unsure of what the future holds.
After what looks like eternity, but what may have been less than an hour, his name is called out. A young policeman walks him out of the cell and takes him to a well-lit area. To his surprise, it is Douglas, a young man who was a student at Gakondo High about ten years ago. He was amongst the first students to benefit from free education at Gakondo High, because he joined the school at around the time the school farm starting making sustainable income.
Douglas scored an A minus and decided to study law. He could not afford University fees, and Christopher made it his business to find him a scholarship. Besides making education at Gakondo High free, Christopher and Bernard made it their business to find bursaries, scholarships and sponsorships for their boys so that they could pursue University education. Bernard often says that it doesn’t make sense for the boys to pass their form four examinations if they cannot pursue their dreams to the end. Most of the early beneficiaries of Bernard and Christopher’s efforts have since graduated from universities and colleges and have stable careers. They have formed an alumni club that now helps Bernard and Christopher in mentoring current students and securing scholarships for them. Douglas is one of them, although Christopher has not seen him in years.
“Douglas! What are you doing here?”
“I work here now.”
“I thought you are a lawyer?”
“I am. But I work for the National Police Service. I decided to join the police service after being admitted to the bar. I worked at Vigilance House in Nairobi for a few years, and then I was sent to the DCI headquarters. They recently sent me here to set up a white collar division.”
“Yes. The big bosses in Kiambu Road and Vigilance House want to separate the units that deal with white collar crimes and those that deal with the regular murders and robberies. They want those of us who are specialized in law, ICT, economics etc to be hunting white collar criminals.”
“The big bosses are smart.”
“They have to be. Criminals are getting smarter by the day. Take hackers for instance. You can’t send any cop to catch a hacker. You need someone who is trained in computer software. Anyway, I am here because I don’t want you to sleep in that cell, Mwalimu. I can’t release you but I can find you somewhere else to sleep. There is a new cell here that is not occupied yet. You can stay there. I will find you a blanket and a mattress.”
“Do not get into trouble over me, Douglas. I will be fine.”
“No, I insist. I know you did not do what they are saying you did. They are just making you suffer for nothing.”
“But how do you know I did not do it?”
“I know you Mwalimu. You are a man of integrity. Every day I aspire to be like you and Principal Bernard. In fact, the two of you inspired me to be a policeman. If we can’t have many more men like you, then at least we can take as many crooks as we can out of positions of influence. You have inspired many, sir.”
“I am flattered. But still, I don’t want you to get into trouble for giving me preferential treatment. I did not do any of the things I am accused of, but I am a suspect.”
“Everyone in this station knows you are being harassed, so don’t worry; I will be fine.”
“You said everyone knows I am being harassed; how come?”
“The police officers who arrested you were off duty. They were pulled out of the club by the OCS. They are usually his handy-men when he is doing something without following the law.”
“I have always known that that OCS is a criminal. But I never imagined that he would be capable of something like this.”
“I will not rest until he and the rest of the crooks in this place go down. Unfortunately, that might take some time, so I cannot stop you from going to court tomorrow.”
“It is okay son. But out of curiosity, can you investigate your boss?”
“I will investigate his associates and they will go down with him.”
“Can’t he protect them?”
“I get my orders from Kiambu Road, so he cannot stop me from investigating anybody. Come on, let me show you where you will spend the night.”
Douglas leads Christopher through a series of verandahs to a new building. He opens the door to one of the rooms and switches on the light.
“This is not exactly a cell. I guess it will be an office when this building is complete. Let me get you some bedding.”
Douglas disappears and then comes back with a mattress and two blankets. He spreads them on the floor.
“Have you called your wife?”
“No, those detectives took my phone when I tried to call.”
“That is irregular. You should have been allowed to contact a lawyer or a family member. I will look into it. I have to go now, Mwalimu. I am sorry I have to lock you in here, but I will alert the guys in the front office that you are here.”
“Can you contact my wife and tell her I am here? I will give you her number.”
“Sure, no problem.”
“I have a couple of requests.”
“What are they? I will help where I can.”
“Principal Bernard was kidnapped this afternoon.”
“Someone took him. I was actually going to see Mr. Owino, the former principal of Matogo High, over that issue when I was arrested. Please get in touch with Mr. Owino and see what you can do to help.”
“What is the other request?”
“I was arrested alongside Principal Bernard’s secretary, Eunice. Please see what you can do to help her.”
“These people are really wicked. I will do my best to find the principal, and to help Eunice.”
“Thank you son.”
Douglas starts to leave, but then pauses at the door.
“Mwalimu, I hate to say this, but I think you should prepare to spend some time in remand. I will make sure you have a competent lawyer in court tomorrow, but I don’t think it will stop you from spending some time in remand.”
“Why is that?”
“It is not just the OCS who is corrupt. Several prosecutors and magistrates at the law court are all part of the cartel. We both know that the people who are after you and Principal Bernard are very influential. I am certain that your arrest and Principal’s Bernard’s kidnapping are related. I promise you that I will not rest until I break up the cartel. It is just not possible to do that tonight, or tomorrow. I am sure they have already bribed the magistrate who will preside over your case to deny you bail, and there is nothing your lawyer can say or do tomorrow to change that. He or she may appeal, but that will take time and they may also bribe the High Court Judge. So you need to be ready to spend some time in jail before my team and I crack open that cartel.”
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