Harare – A Zimbabwe man was so desperate to escape police officers trying to arrest him that he did the unthinkable: he jumped into a raw sewage pond, according to a press report.
Trust Chiriko was wanted on an attempted rape charge and was being pursued by police on the outskirts of the eastern city of Mutare, according to the Manica Post newspaper.
“Upon realising that the cops were upon him Trust Chiriko, 30, took a dive into the raw sewage and dared the officers to jump into the effluent,” said the paper.
To his credit one of the officers rose – or rather dived – to the occasion. The policeman, named only as Constable Mhara, jumped in too.
“There was nothing [else] I could do, so I got into the sewage,” Mhara modestly told the newspaper.
Often criticised by Zimbabweans for their heavy-handed treatment of anti-government activists, particularly during the ongoing wave of #ThisFlag protests, this report paints a slightly different picture of an officer in the force going beyond the call of duty to arrest a man suspected of a non-political crime.
Chiriko was eventally arrested, but not before he’d tried to stone the police, according to the report in the latest edition of the weekly paper.
It’s not yet clear whether this was a pond specially designed to hold raw sewage or an “unofficial” sewage pit. Some suburbs in Mutare have frequent water cuts, burst pipes and sewage disposal problems.
Raymond Majongwe, the head of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe and a vocal activist, complained on Twitter on Friday: “Driving around Mutare high density areas is a nightmare. Atrocious dusty roads, acrid stench from flowing streams with raw sewage.”