And just like that, is how another child has to painfully respond to their friends or a concerned adult at a particular point in life, that they didn’t grow up with a father because well… we decided to take matters into our own hands in the very literal sense that it is. We will also lose a friend, a brother, a neighbour, a husband, acquaintance and all form of relation; but even then, it will hurt. It will be a painful confusion of WHY.
Sometimes, maybe not why; but HOW it is that a human out there had a rush of excitement with blood rushing and gushing through their veins to cause the death of another man with their own hands, not out of defense or protection but rather out of the sheer “excitement” of it. Maybe they’ve suffered in the hands of a criminal themselves; they’ve been a victim of malice, robbery, and the many other kinds of evil humans do to each other on a daily. None of that justifies an angry mob’s gruesome act of “justice” for their past, present and future losses.
I guess people can judge all they want; heck we all silently judge passersby every now and then, but it is not in order for a responsible (or not?) civilian to punish another for crimes that the law has been written for. Whether the law plays its part is another story for another day, surely, because a few months ago i witnessed the police stand aside as boda-boda men and a Pajero owner (of responsible citizens ey?) quenched their thirst for violence by stoning and breaking every limb on a young man’s body. The Police, your saviours, watched. I was dumbstruck. Are they tired? The heck? But again, not today, Karen.
So I also reached out to a few friends on the matter, just so i could share more than my words, and they were glad to share their thoughts, opinions and experiences;
“I cannot pronounce myself on Mob justice. Crowds often find that due to the incompetence of the Police they should take justice into their own hands and deal with matters once and for all without the judicial red tape.
What crowds never do though, is think.
In that moment of madness, they never think about the consequence of what they are doing. They never think to ask who it is they are exacting judgement upon. They never think to find out why the judgement is being exacted.
I know of a story of man who used to visit his brother’s shop once in a while in Nansana. On one fateful day he got there in a taxi but had no change. He told the conductor he was going to the boda stage to get some change and when he got there and gave one of the boda men his 50,000 shilling note, the boda man started shouting “mubbi! mubbi!” – “thief! thief!” and in a matter of minutes he had been rained on to death. But before he died he had been shouting and pleading, asking the crowd to go his brother’s shop and ask his brother to confirm that he knew him and wasn’t a thief. His brother hadn’t yet opened his shop but had heard the commotion. When he got there, albeit too late, his brother had already been killed by the crowd.
Mob justice is absolute and the problem with its absolute manner is it depends on bits and pieces of information and never really knows the truth.
Personally, lifting a stone to cast upon someone accused of a crime (someone I do not even know) is something I am afraid of. Killing makes me shiver.” – Joel Ntwatwa (@nevender)
“The word justice can be defined as just behavior or treatment. In society’s context, this behaviour is usually agreed upon by a majority and set as the governing rules of the land. Consequently, the treatment of the offenders that break the rules is also catered for in the very same breath, thereby leaving no room for poorly-thought-out action.
That’s until a thief or defiler is caught and everybody (including you and I) loses their minds!
What happens when you see that thief is remember all your hard-earned belongings that have been stolen/conned/grabbed/burgled from you. You no longer see a person that broke the law you agreed to institute. You see the loss you’ve suffered – loss with no vengeance. You see the selfishness of the world about to be handed to the system that you don’t trust to dispense fair justice. You are reminded of your personal pain, that nobody else can feel, until now, because now you pick up a stone!
Mob justice, much like smoking, drinking, masturbation, buying a prostitute is a quick temporary relief from life’s aches. It’s a pain-killer when what I (know I) need is to see a doctor and get proper medical attention. It’s an itch to put myself first that I have accepted. And, by the way, it doesn’t start with seeing a thief who’s been caught.
Mob justice starts in my mind, when a random car splashes sewage water on me while I wait under the rain for a taxi to get to an interview. It starts in my heart when the LC Chairman asks me for 10k to stamp my letter, with no explanation as to where the money’s going, and no receipt for my payment. Mob justice starts in my home when we’re watching the news and a new government scandal is being aired and analysed yet the people behind it remain untouched.
Do you know how long it would take an angry crowd to convince you to stone a thief with them? Too much time! That’s why, when you join the crowd, you don’t join with their conviction/ache/vision, you join with yours. You crucify a fellow man because he is a ready conduit for you to vent your frustration with life.” – Boyd Migisha (@b40deep)
“I believe mob justice feels right! …but it actually is wrong. I think that people who carry it out feel justified and feel gratified only temporarily, but in the end they feel bad for the act. So really even in a fallen state or world, the mass madness can seem suitable but it helps no one and just affects everyone; especially when i think about the images the kids might see, the callas cold hearts that grow when the older people see the act and grow to become inert to the grim and gruesomeness of it.
But mostly all this pales in comparison to the possibility of innocence; To Mob The Guilty and Mop The Blood Of The Innocent. Being as they aren’t guilty till tried, but also because sometimes they are victims of a con by wiser rascals.” – Wafula JohnMark (@ugxfiles)
“Mob justice feels like the best possible option in the moment to whoever is carrying it out. They are the judge, jury and executioner at the same time. Judgment is definitely blurred here and wrong decisions are always made. The victims never get to be heard. Mob justice should never be carried out in any society” – Ninno Jack Jr (@NinnoJackJr)
“Mob justice is insane…it deprives the person in question the right to ably defend themselves. I would never participate in it. How would I live with the guilt of having summarily stoned or clobbered someone innocent?” – Paul Kasami (@PaulKasami)
“I’m not for it. I don’t think anyone should take the law into their own hands. Sometimes people kill someone for something as small as a chicken. Other times the crime is horrific but it’s better for someone to be judged and punished accordingly. I’ve had a guy steal from me in a taxi, and I just asked for my mp3 player back. He told me I’ll go to heaven (laughs).” – Yusuf Mago (@MagoMcAw)
“I could say Mob justice is lately on the rise due to technology, because it claims to connect us yet it’s not done better. It’s more of an anti-social network. People watch lots of violence and resort to practicing it and the news is full of violence too. People don’t have the patience to talk to each other but instead rush to practice what they see. So basically in my view, I would connect mob justice with technology.” – Malaika Tabby
“I feel no one deserves the kind of torture and prejudice that befalls them as a result of mob Justice. Sometimes, and if so most times, the victim needs to be heard and judged with righteousness before any course of action is taken. Yes, at times the alleged perpetrators could deserve that and worse but it’s outrightly not a fine vice to execute.” – Pius Enywaru (@penywaru)
“Would I want it to be done to me? No. The Bible says in Matthew 7:12, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets.” If every time I sinned regardless of the gravity of the sin, I would need to be saved. I’d want love. I hope we can reach a place where love is a choice even when it hurts.” – Faith Edigold (@Owaa_Monday)