Editor's Comment

Restore love, tolerance

ZAMBIAN celebrities have joined the call to bring to an end instant justice that mobs use against gassing suspects, most of whom are actually innocent.
There is a lot of sense in what the celebrities are saying and there is need to take heed before more innocent lives are lost.
Here is what some of the celebrities talked to by the Zambia Daily Mail have said concerning the people who are killed under false accusations of being gassers.
Mr Mutale, popularly known as Nguzu in the local drama Mpali, says those taking the law into their own hands to kill others are heartless.
Singer Mirriam Mukape, popularly known as Mampi, said people killing gassing suspects are no better than the actual gassers.
Another singer, Brian Bwembya, whose stage name is B-Flow, said citizens should love one another and avoid inflicting pain on others.
Wezi Mhone, another singer, has condemned the mobs which are causing paranoia among citizens who will end up killing their own relatives.
Indeed, what members of the public are doing to those they suspect of gassing is unZambian.
To start with, there are institutions which Government has created to deal with offenders in whichever way, whether they have offended other people or Government.
Zambia is guided by laws so that justice and order prevail and that is the reason we have a number of institutions created to enforce law and order or to maintain justice.
The role of citizens only ends at apprehending a suspect and handing them over to the police to subject that suspect to the justice system which will determine their fate.
No-one has the right to take away another’s life.
Going by reports from different parts of the country, what is happening where citizens take the law into their own hands to mete out instant justice is unthinkable because innocent lives are being lost.
The killing of former Lusaka town clerk and former Local Government and Housing Permanent Secretary Timothy Hakuyu in Munyumbwe, Gwembe, after he was mistaken for a gassing suspect is very sad.
According to police, Mr Hakuyu was in the area, with others to form a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and recruit 1,200 youths.
Now all these youths have lost an opportunity to build on their skills and probably get jobs. Other potential supporters of youth programmes will think twice about venturing into this area any time soon.
In another incident, Choma residents got into a hospital where a man they suspected to be a gasser had been admitted, pulled him out and killed him. How cruel can one be?
Surely, these incidences, which are only a few of the many others, show how heartless and callous some Zambians have become, disregarding the sacredness of life.
Those who are doing this know they are committing murder, a heinous act, and they should be punished harshly if, or when, found. They must be found. No- one should ever get away with any crime, least of all murder.
The fact that one is a stranger in your community does not make him or her a criminal. Zambia is a diverse and dynamic country in which citizens have the freedom of travelling to any part of the country.
This is not to say that strangers should be ignored. Indeed, there is need to be vigilant but such alertness should never result in taking the law into one’s hands.
Let those entrusted with law enforcement deal with strangers.
Let us get back our Zambian spirit of love and tolerance for each other and save lives of innocent people.

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