Sunday, 22 February 2009
LUSAKA residents institute instant justice on an unnamed man after he was suspected of theft along Freedowm Way at the weekend.
I doubt whether the suspected thief was actually a thief. Non of the people beating him knew what he tried to steal.
These people just jumped on the bandwagon of a guy who was running after the suspect and shouting thief!
One of them told me that he joined in the beating because other people were beating the suspect.
Another one also told me that he was beating the suspected thief because at least somewhere, some how, the suspected thief had stolen something or had committed an offence or would steal something in future and this beating was serving as pushishment for that.
Sometimes I wonder whether mob justice is the best form of issuing punishment on thieves.
I have witnessed incidents where innocent people have been lynched.
A typical example is last year in Lusaka's Chawama township where two residents were brutally killed by a mob justice team, which suspected the two of being behind a spate of robberies in the area.
It was later discovered that the deceased pair was innocent because they were actually coming from work thet time they were killed.
The two were curious about the noise of protesting residents who were complaining about robberies in Chawama, so they went over to watch what was happening.
But someone just shouted thief! and they were dead meat.
Maybe its true what they say that 'curiosity killed the cat.