DO NOT OPEN – Episode 7
© Brian Ngoma
Seated across Ngoma, Nikiwe said, “Tell me the truth, sir.”
Ngoma knew she was either done with the witness statements or halfway through. “What do you want to know, detective?”
“Everything,” Said Nikiwe. “How come I have never known about those cases? Why hasn’t there been media coverage on them?”
Ngoma smiled and sighed. “Do you think those are cases that would do the police force any justice if they were known to the populace?”
Ngoma interrupted her, “Detective Nikiwe, I have been around for so many years and I have seen and heard things that I have only kept to myself because I know once I tell anyone, they’d think I’m just stupid. Now imagine us Officers releasing a press statement telling people that there is a supernatural element surrounding these cases.”
“I just have a lot of questions in my head sir. Why the women? What’s with the white envelope? Why six years?”
“Detective, leave it alone. You are young and have a beautiful family, just do work within your confines. This is not worth it!”
“Why sir? I feel like you’re hiding something from me? Something you don’t want me to find me out.”
Sternly looking at her, Ngoma said, “These cases have left people who dealt with them under serious psychological problems. The detective who initially handled these cases,” he paused. “The man is crazy now.”
“What do you mean crazy?”
“Crazy crazy, detective. The second detective who continued his work died mysteriously. That chap was very young, inquisitive. Just like you Detective.”
Nikiwe was silent lost in her thoughts pondering on what Ngoma said.
“The file was moved to Headquarters after I requested. Then again, when HQ was destroyed during the attack, it found it’s way back. I wished it was destroyed in the process too.”
Ignoring what Ngoma said, Nikiwe asked, “The last witness statement i read was from 2013, does that mean that the next one will be from 2019?”
“Yes detective and that’s the recent one,” Ngoma answered with a wearily face.
“What is it sir?”
“I have been dreading this for the last six years but this is 2025.’
“Do the math, detective.”
“It’s happening again this year, right?”
“I hope and pray it doesn’t.”
“We need to get to the bottom of this, sir!”
“Count me out detective. Nobody ever wants that case. It was hidden for some reason. Whoever put it on your table made a mistake. Leave it alone!”
“Are you telling me we are going to sit down and watch whatever this is terrorise people’s families and unions?”
Ngoma didn’t answer.
“I am requesting you to officially assign me to this case. I want to solve it and bring an end to whatever this is.”
“Didn’t you just hear what I said? About the detectives who handled it?”
“I am not them.”
“Think about your family, Detective. You have young boys who still need you. Don’t be selfish.”
“I am a detective, I am doing this for all the affected families and would be affected. If we let this all thing control us, then we’ll just end up with a pile of cold cases in storages across the country.”
Ngoma knew there was nothing he could do or say to Nikiwe. She had passed the reasoning stage. “Okay, detective. That’s your new case but please, keep me updated. If anything strange happens, let me know.”
“What strange things?”
“You will tell me.”
“One last question, what happened to the murderers?”
“Check the file, detective. After you’re done with the 19′ case. There are some notes on the whereabouts of the murderers and survivors but keep in mind that that information is old. Nobody really knows where they are. You have to find out on your own.”
“Can I knock off?”
“I need to finish studying the cases so that I know where to start from.”
“What’s wrong with doing that from here?”
“I don’t need any disturbances. Especially from Senzo.”
“Just for today, go!”
Nikiwe left Ngoma’s office and went to her office where she found detective Senzo and the two other detectives. She didn’t say a word to them but cleared her table and grabbed her handbag. She could feel Detective Senzo’s eyes on her. His stare was even frightening than the cases she’d been investigating. As she walked to the door, she heard him murmur something under his breath. She stopped. Should I say something? She asked herself. Not worth it. She left.
Stuck in her study, four hours later after having supper with her family, Nikiwe was up to date with the cases. She had finished them all. She had read the notes on what happened to the murderers and the survivors. Apparently, out of the six murderers, only two were still alive, Bufwebe who killed her father and mother. She was in prison. The other murderer still alive was Kara who was involved in the previous incident. On Kara’s case, Nikiwe found out in the notes that Kara’s daughter, Tanashe had survived together with the maid. She thoroughly checked for the location and found the maids but Tanashes wasn’t in the file.
“I guess I could start from here,” She yawned, checked her watch and it was 01:59 AM. “I better go to bed.”
As she went to bed, she kept thinking about how she’d go with her investigations. She resorted to start from the most recent to the old ones. As she felt Clarence’s warm body, she thought to herself why she would risk this for something she didn’t understand but that was her job. She needed to get to the root of this before whatever was happening happened again and whatever it was, it’s urgency could be felt.
To be continued