Victim of Chingola mob relives ordeal

Victim of Chingola mob relives ordeal


Dear friends,

At around six in the morning of yesterday, an unthinking, hungry and criminally minded mob in Chingola descended on my mother’s farm and residence armed with machetes, stones, catapults and knives.

They were well over 150 by my count and I had the misfortune of having a front row seat to this orgy of madness.

I got out to try and buy time, while I asked my mother to call the police inside the house.

We went back and forth in negotiations with this angry mob for at least an hour.

Their pretext was that they heard a rumor that my mother harbored one of the suspects of the recent unrest in Chingola.

At some point, in a desperate bid to de-escalate this madness, we decided it would be prudent to let this mob in the house so they could search it.

Seven AM and no police still.

After the search, the mob retreated for a while in a bid to find a justification for their diabolical intrusion.

They had none, so 30 minutes later, they come back boiling with misdirected anger. What follows is the most traumatic hailstorm of violence.

Stones thrown by children of six and adults of fifty alike, fell like rain from the heavens.

The entire house was destroyed, cars broken into and looted, and when it was clear that they were about to penetrate the house, we were able to escape through another exit just in the nick of time.

The house was thoroughly looted. The criminals swept the house clean.

Nothing was left. Not the refrigerator nor the stove; not the clothes nor the fertilizers; not the food in the house nor the bedsheets.

Animals were slaughtered and stolen.

The dogs were maimed. It was a war zone. My mother uses a solar system to power and light the house.

The panels were broken and batteries stolen — as if to emphasize the darkness that has befallen us.

9 AM, the police arrive. It took the police three full hours to get to a farm less than 10 kilometers away.

I could never understand what drove ordinary men and women to such a monumental suspension of their sense of right and wrong.

I am very grateful that the police arrived, however late, but dear Mr Kanganja, why is it easier to mobilize and send out men and women in uniform at a moment’s notice to stop Hichilema from holding an impromptu meeting, and yet your men and women are unable to act with the same sense of urgency when the life of a law abiding, tax paying, productive, senior citizen of this country hangs by a thread?

Dear Reverend Sumaili, what does it say about our national values when we deem stopping Kambwili’s political activities, more important than saving a woman’s life?

Dear Mr. Edgar Lungu, this nation that you govern should do better!

The only thing worse than a man having to reconcile himself to the possibility of a cruel, violent death of his loved ones is the indignity of knowing that even his ultimate sacrifice— should shove come to push— is not enough to save those he loves.

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