EDITOR: Mob justice has reached unprecedented levels in Uganda. It does not only affect the participants and victims but also impinges greatly on the work of the Police whose sole responsibility is to protect the people of Uganda.
In all their efforts, the Police prevent and detect crime, protect life and property and preserve law and order. In the recent shooting in Ntinda suburb, Tony Lukyamuzi, (a boda boda cyclist) and Augustine Rubingo, a taxi driver, met their death when a policeman, Richard Njala, and a colleague shot into a crowd as a mob lynched a suspected motorcycle thief, David Kikambi.
Njala shot dead two people and injured several others in a scuffle in an apparent attempt to rescue a suspected boda boda motorcycle thief. The constable is still under arrest. His action cannot be justified in any way. However, the public has to realise that we have the power to stop such incidents from re-occurring.
The public can desist from such action by merely handing over suspects while the Police should respect the rights of all individuals. Mob justice costs not only lives of those affected but also has a negative effect on the credibility of the police service and in turn undermines the confidence vested in the Police by the public.
This is a great hindrance to the force especially as they have to relate with the same public to curb crime and arrest criminals. And in any case at most crime scenes, the public always has access to the criminals before the Police. However, they should leave the Police to do their work.
Since 2000 many people have been killed by mobs and hardly does a day pass in or out of Kampala without the public participating in administering what is commonly known as mob justice. What the public does not know is that justifying a wrong with another does not make it in any way right!
The consequences are sometimes fatal and worse still, many of the victims are wrongly accused. If mob justice was a solution, then surely why do criminals still exist? We can solve crime in many other ways other than ruthless killings. Mob justice is a weakness on our part which we are teaching the young generation.
As a result of our bad habits some children have learnt to administer mob justice on their own colleagues at school! Taking the law in one's hand is wrong and criminal. It is very common in rural communities where people are ignorant about the law and their own rights.
We should all be judged by the weight of the law other than the fist.
Justifying a wrong with another doesn't make it right