Members of Parliament on Tuesday took turns in suggesting possible solutions to mob justice cases which have been on the rise in the country.
The parliamentarians agreed that there is need for cohesion, review of the judicial system and civic education to the masses on how to deal with law breakers.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Bright Msaka presented a report to the House on the situation of mob justice, which he said has escalated.
He called on the legislators to unite in sensitising people to the dangers of mob justice.
In his statement Msaka said government is seriously concerned with mob justices cases which are perpetrated by the public, adding in some cases victims are not proven to be in the wrong.
“Government is seriously concerned, no one has the right to take the law into their own hands under the disguise of mob justice. It is a barbaric act that must be condemned to the fullest,” he said.
Msaka cited the case of an innocent student in Blantyre and others who fell victim to mob justice.
“We lost a young life to this, there is also a case of two brothers who were burnt to death, the killing of a police officer in Msundwe, the killings in Nkhata Bay and the cutting down of a maize field in Ntchisi. These are just but a few examples. Let us all work together to stop such acts. We need a citizenry that abides by the law,” he said.
Mzimba South legislator Emmanuel Jere said there was need for parliamentarians to work with their communities in ending this malpractice and asked the minister to give statistics of people affected and parts of the country it is occurring.
On their part, legislators Mike Bango (Kasungu North), Noah Chimpeni (Nkhata Bay South East), Alfred Jiya (Lilongwe City Centre) and Cornelius Mwalwanda (Karonga Central), all suggested that mob justice may be a sign of the public’s loss of trust in the country’s law enforcement and justice systems.
Said Chimpeni: “Is this a sign or a message that people are trying to be communicating that something is not right somewhere? Where did we go wrong? Why have people lost trust in the police?”
On the other hand, Mwalwanda said the status quo calls for a review of the state of the rule of law in the country. “What is happening reflects the state of rule of law. In my constituency, four people were murdered for alleged witchcraft and some were even buried alive. This has never happened before. That is where we need to be looking at and asking ourselves why we have reached this far. On the other hand, citizens have lost trust in the police and have resorted to mob justice. This is an issue that needs all of us to work together,” he said.