THANKS to technological advancements, one of whose by-products are video clips on wildlife behaviour, many human beings have been enabled to realize – with huge surprises chipped into the bargain – that there’s what may liberally be characterized as a human face amongst what we generally refer to as wild animals.
A good example is when a lion chases a baby zebra, but, upon catching up with the potential prey, its hunger literary vanishes. Instead of munching it and whetting its appetite, it strokes it fondly as the mother antelope would, fends off fellow lions that seek to pounce on the baby, and conducts it into safety.
The gruesome manner in which a man aged 23 met his death in Mwanza Region last week, typifies the beastly nature of some humans.
After stealing five hens in a village and being cornered, he owned up to the offence and consented to being taken to a police post, for the legal process to take its course.
The process was aborted by bloodthirsty people who lynched and then set him ablaze. Whereas we hope that justice will ultimately be done as police are quizzing a few people arrested in connection with the incident, memories of the senseless loss of life, as are several other similar ones, are not easily erasable, especially for family members of the victims.
Barbarism inherent in mob justice is a blot on humanity, and is worsened by its defenders, who stress that thieves should be killed on the spot for dispossessing other community members of their hard-earned properties. They argue that when, as suspects, they become part of the legal process, some are freed over technicalities like lack of sufficient evidence.
We are not advocates of wrongdoing, but taking the law into one’s own hands is both illegal and sinful, considering, especially, that some victims are economically hard-pressed people who resort to petty thievery for survival.
The same can’t be said of big-time robbers, and looters of public funds for whom financial hardship can’t be rationally applied, and some of whom escape imprisonment due to legal technicalities. It is outrageous, anyway, that someone should be burnt alive for stealing a chicken or a mobile phone handset.
Mob justice must be clamped down upon vigorously, against the backdrop, especially, of some human beings conducting themselves in worse manner than wild animals proper.