A yet to be identified bicycle taxi man –Kabaza – was set ablaze and killed when a lynch mob mistook his for a thieve in the Capital City Lilongwe Saturday night.
Onlookers who were found at the scene told Nyasa Times that the Kabaza man was cruising to his bicycle rank at Gologota after dropping a passenger near the famous Kafita Church.
Seeing how he was cruising, some people blocked him and shouted that there is a thief who is believed to have stolen a bicycle.
“The man explained that he is coming from dropping a customer but that did not yield anything,” said an eye witness.
She added:”People mistakenly identified him as someone who wanted to steal an electric metre from a certain house but he that was another person.”
A crowd had no sooner begun to throw blows at the poor fellow and set him on fire.
Malawi has become synonymous with vigilante justice due to rise in crime, weak justice system and irresponsive Malawi Police Service.
Police spokesman for Lilongwe said the case is a serious indictment of mob justice.
He said such jungle justice simply gives sadists a feed day and that “it shouldn’t be condoned.”
But others argued that though mob justice is not correct or fair, it is effective and efficient.
“People take the law into their hands because the justice system has failed them. When you take a thief to the police station, you hardly reach your house again before the thief is set free by the police who have collected a fee from him,” noted one resident of Lilongwe.
He said most people have resorted to mob justice because they are frustrated.
“This has reduced crime a bit. Although mistaken identity may result in the death of someone innocent, most of the time the mob is right and this is actually yielding fruits,” he added.
He said mob justice is simply the easiest and fastest way of choosing jurors to serve justice.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :