An angry mob in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe has set ablaze a suspected carjacker after he allegedly tried to steal a car.
The attempted carjacking took place on Thursday morning in Area 36 in the city.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that some few police officers stormed the scene to restore order and rescue the weak robber but were chased away by the adamant mob vigilantes.
Mob justice has become a popular means of administering justice to suspects in the country of late.
Mike Nazombe, a social scientist at the University of Malawi, said Malawians may be resorting to mob justice because they mistrust the ability of the country’s law enforcement agencies to deal with criminals.
He said the prevailing mentality is, “let’s take the law into our hands, because those people who were empowered to do it are not able to do it”.
The best way to prevent vigilante justice, Nazombe said, is for the state to improve law enforcement.
“Once people gain more trust in their law enforcement agencies like the police and the courts, they are less likely to undermine them with their own actions”.
National police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo said mob justice is giving the police problems, because “mob justice destroys evidence and results in investigation deficiencies”.