Mob attacks ill-advised


The story of a suspected thief who was murdered by a mob accused of stealing from a tuckshop in Manzou area made sad reading and showed just how dangerous mob attacks can be.

The man was killed for breaking into a tuckshop and stealing goods valued at US$76.

Yes what he did was very bad and he deserved to be stopped but was killing him necessary? Who is a better man, one who steals US$76 or one who takes a life?

Now several people are on the run for killing the suspected thief.

They could easily have apprehended him as they were outnumbering him but they resorted to violence and ended up killing the poor man.

The police is on record saying “Mob justice is illegal in Zimbabwe as members of the public are prohibited from taking the law into their own hands.”

Please take heed of that alert.

If you take the law into your own hands, such a thief can easily be killed and you are party to that murder.

You might claim you only slapped them once or kicked them once but that is what happens with mob attacks.

Everyone just slaps the criminal once but at the end of the attack those slaps and blows and kicks are hundreds and one can easily lose their life.

All those that would have meted the attack become murderers, worse than the thief who would have snatched a bag or stolen some money.

The mob can effect a citizen arrest and wait for the police to take the alleged criminal to the courts.

This jungle-justice is not the way to make criminals pay. In fact, it is barbaric, savage justice which lowers everyone who takes part in it down to the levels of the criminals – if not lower.

We have to grow up and accept that we live in a civilized world with a proper channel for justice – a jurisdiction or right and power to interpret and apply the law that does not belong to everybody.

If we are different from the criminals that we catch, let us show it by proving, even to the criminals, that we are law abiding citizens; that we respect and trust the law that we live under and that we submit to that law’s authority.

There is simply nothing known as mob justice.

Once the mob disregards the law, then it can only be mob injustice. One little mistake and someone loses their life.

That can easily happen whenever people engage in violence. So before anyone engages in violence of any nature, they must ask themselves if they are ready to be responsible for their rivals’ deaths. The police should start arresting people who lead in the so called mob justices and make examples of them, especially when people die as a result.