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Combating mob justice


There has been a disturbing clip doing round in the social media of a woman being frog marched in her birthday suit amid cheers from a crowd, and ultimately stoned to death by a mob probably in the coastal region of the country. In 2009 a similar video appeared in the social media where five elderly people were lynched to death on suspicion of witchcraft. Another involved hacking of street urchins by the public in Nairobi on allegations of stealing crates of soda. There have been such like stories across the country. Mob justice is not just, as many innocent souls have been plucked in regards to this act, whether the allegations are normally true is hard to verify. Reasons for mob justice normally range from robbery, witchcraft, murder to rape. Has mob justice been absorbed into our culture and no longer seem to be an evil act? We normally address the issue casually. Even in our bulletin it’s normally categorized in ‘in other news’ segment which makes it look less important. It’s important that we address the vice as it has several negative impacts on either side.

The media is a strong tool for sensitization and as such should bring forth these issues. They should highlight repercussions of involving in mob justice. The church and even mosques should preach against the same. The police should also play its part as far protecting the lives of the citizens is concerned. It’s common knowledge that whenever the public are about to lynch an individual, the police officers are usually contacted. The sad part is, in most cases they will arrive after the victim has already passed on. Corruption can partly be blamed for the rise of mob justice. Why do people prefer to lynch rather than report to the police? The answer is simple, corruption. The public has lost faith in both the security organs and judiciary and thus resort to “quick justice”. Therefore the two institutions need to work on corruption issues so as build confidence in the public and thus reduce mob justice incidences.

Mob justice has a long negative effect on our children. Children who watch this kind of brutal killing are exposed not only to blood and death, but also to the violence that takes place during the killings. That equals to breeding a family, a community and a nation that will not fear to shed human blood. The more our children are exposed to the violence that is confined within mob justice, the more we breed the next generation of people who will have less or no respect for human life. It is difficult to imagine that, in some instances, it is teenagers and other young people who are at the forefront of the necklacing and burning of human bodies. It is both inhumane and unnatural to see human bodies being dragged through the streets and finally burnt or publicly killed.

It’s high time we look at mob justice from a different angle. Mob justice kills, breeds hatred, and causes trauma (especially on children) in our society. The society at large should come together and assist in combating the issue.

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