THE petrol-bombing of the palace of Chief Mweemba of the Tonga people where one person died and three others were injured recently is the worst form of barbarism imaginable.
The act is a clear demonstration of lawlessness and lack of respect for human life by the perpetrators – blood-thirsty criminals who should be in the gaol.
Last Friday, unidentified people petro-bombed the house where Chief Mweemba and others were sleeping in Kanyemba Village in Sinazongwe.
Chief Mweemba, who escaped the fire through a window, suffered eight percent burns and was lucky not to have inhaled fumes.
Another victim, Paul Sinakatongo, suffered 38 percent burns while the third victim had 90 percent burns.
Unfortunately, the fourth victim, Mubita Mubita, who suffered 100 percent burns, did not make it. He died while being transported from Batoka to Livingstone Central Hospital.
Chief Mweemba has alleged that the attack on his life is political while some United Party for National Development officials have attributed the barbaric acts to succession disputes in the chiefdom.
Whatever the case, there is no justification for anyone to engage in such cruelty.
No-one is allowed to take the law in their hands by taking another person’s life no matter how aggrieved.
Zambia is a country of laws with proper justice systems which can be used by anyone aggrieved.
But to creep into the chief’s palace around 03:00 hours when everyone is fast asleep and unleash a petro bomb is well-calculated criminality which should not go unpunished.
The people behind these attacks are professional thugs who should not be allowed to walk on our streets freely.
These criminals are a danger to our society and should, therefore, be caged at all cost for the safety of all citizens.
Yes, today the victim is Chief Mweemba, but we do not know who the next will be as long as these advocates of the Devil are not made to reform through the correctional services.
It is, therefore, prudent for all citizens to be vigilant and report any suspects of such barbaric acts.
Violence has no place in our nation, which is anchored on Christian principles of love, peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.
We believe that whatever differences people may have whether political, social or religious, there are civilised ways of resolving such, other than resorting to violence.
This is why we strongly believe that people behind these attacks are no ordinary citizens but dangerous thugs who must be fished out of society and confined within the four walls of prison.
This is much more so because life and property were destroyed.
Through loss of life, a family, community and the country as a whole have been robbed of manpower that would have contributed to the agriculture sector.
Depending on the degree of burns, chances are that some of these victims may never be able to live normal lives again.
Even though the value of the gutted palace is not known, it is certain that money has been lost.
This is indeed retrogressive because instead of channelling money to other needy areas in the chiefdom, there is now need to rebuild the palace.
The thugs behind the burning of Chief Mweemba’s palace are enemies of progress.
These are unpatriotic individuals who cannot perceive things beyond their personal interests.
It is our hope that our law enforcers will work around the clock to bring the culprits to book. This will help deter would-be offenders.
We wish Senior Chief Mweemba and the other victims quick recovery.