The Dangers of Instant Mob Justice in Cattle Theft Cases


The Dangers of Instant Mob Justice in Cattle Theft Cases

By Daimone Siulapwa
This weekend, disturbing videos depicting instances of instant justice and torture against suspected cattle thieves have surfaced, casting a dark shadow on the principles of justice and human rights in Zambia.

While the fight against cattle theft is essential, it is imperative that such actions be condemned by peace-loving citizens and addressed through legal channels.

The foundational principle of our legal system is that all citizens are equal before the law and presumed innocent until proven guilty including the suspeted cattle thieves.

The rise of mob justice not only defies this fundamental tenet but also poses a serious threat to the rule of law and the due process of justice.

The graphic nature of these incidents, witnessed in viral videos, is a cause for concern as it not only undermines the integrity of our legal system but also raises questions about the effectiveness of proper investigations.

Instant justice often leads to hasty conclusions, potentially resulting in the punishment of innocent individuals.

To counter the issue of cattle theft, the UPND government took a proactive step by passing a law that deems such cases non-bailable.

This legislative move has shown positive results, with a noticeable decline in theft and reported cases.

However, the success of these efforts should not be overshadowed by the rise of vigilantism and instant justice.

It is important to emphasize that anyone found engaging in mob justice must be swiftly brought before the law to face charges related to their actions, regardless of their loses.

In the same vain, stiff and long sentences must be guven to cattle thieves who are found guilty and they must also be made to pay back using whatever means available including lose of their fixed assets.

Upholding the principles of justice requires a commitment to holding individuals accountable for their deeds through proper legal proceedings.

Law enforcement, particularly in Southern Province where these incidents have been reported, must remain vigilant.

The police play a vital role in maintaining order and ensuring that citizens do not overstep their boundaries by taking on roles that should be reserved for trained professionals.

Allowing overzealous citizens to usurp police powers jeopardizes the delicate balance needed for a functioning and just society.

Furthermore, while the fight against cattle theft is of great importance, it must be conducted within the boundaries of the law.

Instant justice not only undermines the credibility of our legal system but also endangers innocent lives.

The government’s efforts to address cattle theft through legislation are commendable, and it is now imperative to ensure that the rule of law prevails in dealing with those who seek retribution outside the legal framework.

Let us strive for a society where justice is served through proper channels, upholding the values of fairness and due process.

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Daimone Siulapwa is a political analyst, an advocate for tribal unity and Citizen Economic Empowerment. Send your comments to


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