This is the situation. Security in the country completely breaks down. Thugs kill and maim innocent hardworking and law abiding citizens for their money and property which they acquired after sweating blood.
As the thugs go about this, they leave in their wake other horrendous atrocities such as rape of women and children in the homes they attack, traumatising them for the rest of their lives.
Banks and churches have not been spared either. Billions of money is stolen from banks throughout the country. There is then a systematic attack on churches to steal offerings.
Understandably, citizens are alarmed and horrified at the ever deteriorating security situation and demand action from their elected leaders.
The leaders relent and order action that comes in form of a crackdown and joint sweep of the cities involving the police, Army and Immigration and scores of suspects are locked up.
But instead of encouraging this sort of action that would obviously scare the criminals to leave innocent citizens alone, some civil society organisations (CSOs) condemn it, saying it is a violation of the rights of the people who were arrested.
I have one question to these misguided CSOs: What about the rights of the victims of the violent crimes which were unleashed on innocent citizens whose only ‘sin’ is having money and property?
In any case, did the joint operation to rid our cities of criminals arrest, try and convict the suspects within the same night? I thought they were taken to court where they were tried and those deemed innocent were set free? Where is the human rights abuse?
If these CSOs have any cases of suspects who were summarily tried and executed during that night, they should tell us who they are and where they are.
In that case, the solution would not be mounting senseless publicity stunts and concocting empty statements but taking government to court for gross violation of human rights and abuse. I bet they have none. Where is the evidence-based human rights campaign that we are preached to about now and then?
When all is said and done, CSOs should for once face the stark reality and think about the trauma that victims of violent crimes perpetrated by the same people they are trying to defend go through.
As I am writing this a woman in Lilongwe’s Area 47 is a widow and three children are fatherless after an innocent man paid the ultimate price with his life cut short merely for being successful and having money which some shameless lazy thugs wanted.
If these publicity-seeking CSOs were to think along these lines, they would not be issuing senseless statements pleading for the rights of criminals and shamefully and completely ignoring those of the innocent victims.
To me, I expected the CSOs to ask the law enforcers that operations like these should not be a one-off venture but should be continuous so that we can sleep in the knowledge that we would wake up the following day alive.
I expected these NGOs in their press statement to plead with government for more resources to police to recruit and train more officers to boost their numbers on the streets of our cities and towns for our safety.
They did not. They don’t give a damn about the victims of the violent crimes. Our CSOs would rather defend criminals and make headlines in the morning. n