Soldiers, curfews, the hullabaloo at the bar

Local imbibers have always defied the lockdown.

They connive with the local bar owner, lock themselves inside the bar, switch off the lights, drink and have a helluva good time, shutting the lockdown enforcers out.

We will call them the defiant drunks.

Last night, after the announcement of stricter lockdown measures which many believe are an insincere ruse calculated to douse imminent political rebellion and dissent, the defiant drunks were extra careful.

They ensured that the bar owner locked the front door and grill, parked their cars in the backyard of the bar, and ensured that the backyard gate to the bar was locked. They felt safe and secure surrounded by the backyard security wall and felt defended and protected by the locked grill in front of the bar.

To them, the injustice and political turmoil of a country called Zimbabwe was held at bay by the security of the perimeter wall, and the conviviality of the moment.

And so they drank.
The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) was deployed by Government to help enforce the lockdown.

While the defiant drunks enjoyed their drink and argued about the British premier soccer league and chatted with their side chicks, an armored ZNA truck with armed men crept quietly towards the bar.
The armed men stalked the bar with the reconnaissance of military precision.

They assessed the target with glee. How can these civilians think they can shut out a military operation of hungry men?
And the soldiers selected few men and chose a place at the durawall which surrounded the bar where their selected combatants scaled with effortless skill and landed in the backyard of the bar, the exact place where the defiant drunks had parked their cars.

Once there, they silently slithered to the back door, found it open and soldiered in. An easy invasion by any military standards!
The defiant drunks were taken by complete surprise. How did these agents of darkness enter their impregnable haven of happiness?

The masked armed men ordered the drunks and their side chicks to lie on the floor, ready to flog them with a sjambok.
And the following events unfolded.
Those who could prove to be members of the security arm of Government were ordered to walk out of the bar and sit in their cars, pending further instructions.

Everyone else was ordered to lie prone and receive a beating from the sjambok, unless they compensated the soldiers for their sweat.
To show their seriousness, the soldiers flogged a man in the far corner of the bar, and the remaining defiant drunks knew that they were conquered and vanquished.

They emptied their pockets and paid their captors.
And the desperate soldiers fled and scaled the durawall and ran to their armored car. They drove off with their ill-gotten loot.
Public protectors turned robbers.

And the defiant drunks reconvened in the bar to commiserate about the ordeal at the bar.
The bar that is a microcosm of the macrocosm.

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