August 19, 2022

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Mob lynching in Africa: an unjustified public justice system

3 min read
mob lynching

Mob lynching is not a new phenomenon in Africa. Its beginning goes back several years when it was still comprehensible as civilization and ethical codes had not yet been ushered into the mainstream. But it is entirely unfathomable and atrocities when such acts occur and take away a precious life in the broad daylight, in today’s time and era when we boast of love and peace and harmony. Despite all the layers of pretence, we unveil our true selves when we let rage creep into our heads. The worst truth is, that our true selves are lynching, barbarous beings unbound by ethics and principles.

When a mob kills someone, whether they deserve it is a judgement to be passed by the authorities, they take justice into their hands and undermine the latter’s right to love in doing so. In 2011, the Kenyan police for the first time included “lynching” in its crime statistics. The officials recorded 543 victims. In Uganda, 582 people died as a result of lynching in 2014. The alarming truth is, that these numbers only represent the cases reported to the police; many went and continue to go unnoticed by the media and law alike. This whittles down to this: the police are not competent enough to tame the mob. But this also begs this question: why do we, as the mob, need to be tamed after years of learning values and lessons on why to be better people?
In South Africa, this practice of lynching is conceptualized as “necklacing.” Angry citizens round up the alleged wrongdoer, after being tied up, they force a tire that has been drenched in gasoline onto the neck of the suspect and then burns him alive. Such cases have seen the light of existence several times a year.
The mob has not limited this heinous practice to only normal people; even famous politicians and celebrities are subject to being wrongfully perpetrated. In April of 2016, a furious crowd dragged Nigerian lawmaker Bukalo Saraki to a marketplace in the capital Abuja. The mob ripped off his clothes and hurled insults at him. The reason for the attack was later revealed to be the circulation of messages on social media claiming the senator had illegally enriched himself. Around 130 years ago, Mahatma Gandhi found himself meeting a similar fate when a faceless crowd took to beating him to express their hate towards him.
The most recent occurrence of this heinous act has been recorded last week when 28-year-old Festus Eduafo was mercilessly lynched by the Youth of Komenda-Aburansa in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abraim Municipality of the Central Region. On 6 July it was brought to the realisation of his family that one of them was no longer alive, brutally killed for reasons still vague. He was killed and allegedly buried someplace secretly. The police had tried to intervene but were warned against it. This demonstrates the incompetence of the police to command the people they must know to discipline.  The most prominent issue with the African police is the lack of enough personnel to tame the ginormous continent and its ginormous crowd.
Meanwhile, residents in the Ekumfi Asasfa are seeking Justice for the innocent man marching on the streets in an attempt to put an end to mob lynching.
This unjustified justice system is perpetuated by the public, which is comprised of us. Hence, this problem begins with us. And if we are the problem, we have to be the solution to this ceaseless array of murders. In a nutshell, mob lynching, as the name suggests, is lynching by the mob. So if the mob upholds their ethics above all, lynching can be uprooted.

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