Sunday, June 26, 2005

"I Went To Hell in That Place"

'I went to hell in that place. After a while I could not feel pain any more'

by Jamie Dowd
Sunday June 26, 2005
The Observer

"Crispen Kulinji spent much of last week wondering whether he would be tortured before he was murdered. The omens were bad.

"When the Zimbabwean army came for Kulinji two years ago they blindfolded and handcuffed him. The soldiers then proceeded to beat him and subjected him to a series of electric shocks that left him permanently scarred. The two truckloads of troops loyal to the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, who had descended on Kulinji's home in the capital city's district of Mabvuku proceeded to subject his mother to horrific sexual torture, and to beat his sister so brutally that she is still fighting for her life.

"A prominent member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the political organisation opposed to Mugabe's regime, Kulinji was dragged away and tortured during a brutal interrogation process that lasted several days. 'They tried to get me to reveal details of who I knew in the MDC. There was blood all over my body.' Kulinji thinks around 40 soldiers worked him over. 'I went to hell in that place,' he said. 'They used electricity on my legs and under my tongue. After a while I couldn't feel pain any more. My body is now covered in scars. For some time I couldn't walk.'

"He was left for dead in a pit before being found by a Good Samaritan who got him to hospital. Kulinji was unconscious for four days before being transferred by the hospital to a safe house."

* * * * *
When I was in the Rhodesian Army (1974-1976) I did in fact do some security related work due to my American passport, which was handy, and I came into contact with some Special Branch people. Then later on in 1976 when I was active in the Rhodesia White People's Party I was arrested by the Branch myself and convicted on a "terrorist: charge (by a Colored judge) and deported.
I can tell you that the White government under Ian Smith, dumb-asses as they were, never, ever did anything like this. I was treated with unfailing courtesy and correctness both by Inspector Reg Painting who busted me and another Inspector named Drummond who escorted me around later. And no, they didn't treat black suspects any different, other than some solitary confinement cells they had at Khami prison for black prisoners who showed their butts. The closest thing I ever saw to racial violence against blacks other than terrorist combat was a sergeant at Llewellin Barracks who slapped his garden boy and was later disciplined by the OC for conduct unbecoming.
I will never forgive those stupid, stupid shitheads on all sides who destroyed that place of beauty and wonder.


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