11 April 2016
TODAY we have a story headlined â€œArrested for assaulting intruderâ€ in which three men were last week arrested and taken to court for assaulting an intruder they found in their yard early morning.
Whilst this story cannot be discussed as it is yet to be determined at the courts, there is an obvious lesson we can take even from the headline.
We are liable for any form of violence we perpetrate against people, even if they are thieves.
So the next time we find ourselves face to face with an apprehended burglar or thief, we must seriously consider our next move.
Some may remember the lengthy trial that implicated urban grooves musician Taurai Mandebvu, his father and brother in the murder of a thief that had broken into their house.
Although they were acquitted as they did not take part in the alleged murder, the fact that the thief died after stealing or trying to steal from them still put them in the long and obviously stressing trial.
The people who really killed the thief â€“ popularly known as the MOB â€“ were never in the courts as they must have run away soon after a few blows each.
So since the crime was committed at their place, they should have stopped people from beating up the criminal.
This will enable the law to take its course and see to it that proper justice is delivered.
Yes, stealing a cellphone is wrong but a punishment that can lead to death is hardly justified for such an offence.
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 â€“ if not lower.
We have to grow up and accept that we live in a civilized world with a proper channel for justice â€“ a jurisdiction or right and power to interpret and apply the law 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 lawâ€™s authority.
We recently had another story of two youths that fought resulting in the â€œaccidentalâ€ death of the other after he was kicked in the oesophagus.
That can easily happen whenever people are engaged in violence.
So before anyone engages in violence of any nature, they must ask themselves if they are ready to be responsible for their rivalsâ€™ deaths.
Because one little slip could result in someoneâ€™s death.