Good people, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is not one of the continent’s tigers.
The war-torn country mostly hogs headline due to loud cries of dying civilians escaping gunshots and bombs.
However, it appears the weight of war has not immobilised the wheels of justice.
On Tuesday, DRC leapt like a tiger to take its famous musician Koffi Olomide—real name Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba—into custody days after he was deported for kicking a female dancer at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya.
He denies the assault which was filmed in a clip which went viral, but the swiftness of the governments of Kenya and DRC sends a strong message that there is no place for adults who think every little disagreement can be resolved by beatings.
It is good African leaders are standing up to say gender-based violence is an insult to our countries, laws and decency. It is good.
However, the arrest of the musician-turned-kick boxer sounds too good to obscure the silence from Malawi’s security system after a police officer was filmed slapping two girls at Chancellor College last week.
The silence from those in power is deafening. It loudly proclaims that the policeman and his workmates have a licence to manhandle Malawians for their smartphones’ sake.
The silent state machinery extends to President Peter Mutharika’s Kamuzu Palace which was quick to reply when comedian Manganya recently told Malawians selective justice is not justice at all.
Mutharika’s aides say he will not be pushed by “politically partisan comedians” to release names of his seven cabinet ministers who have been implicated in the suspected looting of up to K577 billion from state coffers.
To show selective justice is as bad as it gets, Mutharika must be moved by the plight of the girls in Zomba.
Nothing speaks louder of selective justice than the silence on the brutal police officer filmed slapping the two ladies not once or twice—but three times.
The quietness blares just when Mutharika has hastily ordered the arrest of Eric Aniva, the man BBC quotes as confessing engaging in ritual sex with 104 women and counting to cleanse them from misfortunes associated with widowhood, abortion and transition to womanhood.
I shudder to imagine that the president, the male champion for the United Nations’ HE4SHE campaign to keep the Malawian girl in school and out of harms’ way, is waiting for BBC to remind him that it is wrong for public officers to harass the citizens that are paid to serve fairly.
Play me poet Felix Njonjonjo Katsoka’s Kudikira Mzungu.
The Inspector General Lexten Kachama says the police service is investigating the thugs in uniform.
When a whole police service takes over a week investigating one of their own, the so-called investigation looks like rocket science—a cover up or an official step to eliminate evidence.
It’s not new.
We saw it in the July 20 2011 saga when a police commissioner’s son, who was pictured battering a protestor with the butt of his gun, was only transferred to Mchinji and later congratulated with a peacekeeping job in Sudan.
Treating abusive people with kid gloves can only beget more abuse.
Incidentally, Olomide’s kick boxing started with forgiveness when he kicked a TV camera and its operator in 2008. He also got a three-month suspended sentence for assaulting his producer in 2012.n