A few weeks ago, a lady I shall refer to as Mary was driving her car when she was flagged down by a sub-sub-sub-section of one of our traffic officers.The ones in blue trousers and white shirts.
She stopped and rolled down her window.
“Good morning officer!”, she said. “What’s up?”
“Are you going to Mutungo?” he asked her.
“You’re going to Mutungo?” he repeated.
“Erm, no. I’m going to Kitintale. Why are you asking?”
“Eh, you can leave me there and I’ll continue on my way”.
He was now pulling at the door.
“The door is locked”, he complained. “Open it!”
Only now did she step on it and continue on her way.He might have just wanted a lift. But what a suspicious way to go about it!
It is my opinion that the ONLY police officers who should be telling you to stop your car should be in the proper all-white uniform of a traffic officer. If any other kind should have the authority to flag you down, I expect an announcement to be made by relevant police chiefs letting us know about it.
Unless it’s the millitary of course. I’ll stop for a red top wielding a gun on my way to the toilet.
A number of years ago, I was in the passenger seat of a car with my then boss, who I shall call Richard. We were on Stretcher road when we saw a pick up with these police officers in blue and white camourflage jumping off the back. They were still relatively new to the scene.
One of them authoritatively flagged us down.
“Please don’t stop”, I asked Richard. “I think it’s a bad idea to stop your car for a truckload of armed policemen just hanging by the side of the road. Abuse of our rights can occur”.
“Meh, they’re security”, he said. “I have to stop”.
When we stopped, and the window was rolled down, I looked at one of the police officers who said tersely to Richard, “Show me your I.D”
Richard obligingly did so. Officer stared at it a while and let the silence grow. And grow. And grow. I got the impression that he and his colleagues were idling away the hours frightening drivers. They reeked of bullydity.
He returned the I.D to Richard and turned to me.
“I.D”, he said as tersely as he had to Richard.
“No”, I responded casually.
“What?” he bristled.
“I don’t even know what your uniform is supposed to mean yet”, I bristled back. “Why are you stopping us on this lonely road in these peaceful times? You are not even a traffic officer”.
“I am not a police officer?” he repeated in wonder.
“No, traffic”, I corrected politely. “You’re not dressed in white. So before I give YOU my I.D, I’m afraid I have to ask you why you want it”.
“Do you know who you’re talking to?” he was almost shouting. “Do you know who I am and what I can do to you?”
Dead giveaway for a timewaster. If you’re going to arrest, arrest, don’t blubber.
He and I exchanged unkind words for a few minutes until he eventually said to Richard, “Anyway, you can go. But only because you have good manners. I have decided to leave you alone”.
Two days later, I was telling one of my girlfriends about it, who said:
“Oh my God! I don’t think you should have even stopped. I heard some sort of warning on the news about not stopping for police men not authorized as traffic officers. Apparently, some guys in blue and white camourflage have been robbing drivers on the by-pass”.
Of course I could be wrong. Maybe all kinds of police men can randomly flag your car down and start asking things of you. If that’s the case, I’m open to being educated.