Today when returning home from a meeting I found a crowd gathered on the street. On closer investigation, I saw a man with a swollen bloody face being pushed around. He was bleeding. One man, in a tattered white hat said, “Usimchape, si vizuri, tumpeleke station [let’s not beat him up, it is not right, let us instead take him to the police station].” Another, a man from my building, said, “Chapa hii ng’ombe ya binadamu [Beat up this cow of a human being].”
Apparently he had stolen firewood from a nearby cut-down tree (though I wonder why the trees were being felled in the first place & if the property owners had the requisite permissions to do so).
What is your take on ‘mob justice’? I feel mob injustice is more accurate. People in the country are edgy, they are angry at life, others and themselves. Such wanton aggression is testimony to this. Don’t get me wrong, stealing is definitely wrong, but I feel the reaction to it is a separate psychological phenomenon. I believe it is ‘deferred aggression’ made manifest.