Friday, October 01, 2010

Justice needed in the Balaka accident

BY ANANIYA ALICK PONJE


The story of a woman who was killed by a police car together with her baby in Balaka recently, is one that cannot be buried today. It is a story that should not be left to go with the corpses, for life is a commodity that deserves the highest level of reverence, at least here in earth.

Life is most precious gifts God has endowed mankind with. It is the beginning and the end of everything. Nothing exists in human beings if at the beginning there is the absence of life. Every human activity pivots around life. And above everything, life is the most sovereign gift from God. That is why living people always try their utmost to make sure a human life is not at a risk of being nipped out.

We have hospitals and other places where life can be sustained because the significance attached to life supersedes every human phenomenon. People are willing to do everything within their ability as long as it means saving a life. People travel to far-flung areas and spend millions of kwacha just because they know how precious life is and do not want it to be lost in an instance that can be dealt with.

People in countries where war has erupted run away to different places to seek refuge. They do not care about what they leave behind as long as they are sure there is a possibility of getting out of harm’s way. This is in virtue of the fact that life is everything to a human being. As long as there is life, everything is possible.

People run away from earthquakes and other natural disasters because life is the most precious thing man ever receives from God. They cannot afford to lose their precious lives without putting up some effort to escape. They are mindful of the fact that while they can manage to acquire again what they lose in any situation, a lost life can never be replenished.

They quite well know that they can lose expensive cars, houses and everything that they own and acquire them again. But there is one thing that they need to fight tooth and nail to sustain: life.

Yet some individuals do not care about human life and have the audacity to take it with careless abandon. They kill their fellow human beings as though they are slaughtering livestock at an abattoir. Such is the human mind. He can destroy with all carelessness something that took someone decades and decades to build.

It is very painful to a parent, and of course every well meaning person, to know that their relation or friend has been killed by a fellow human being.

Thus, the conduct of some police officers, of recklessly taking the lives of their fellow human beings, is heartrending and requires the greatest reproach that it deserves. For times without number, we have heard of suspects dying in police custody, mainly due to heavy beating by the officers; and on a few occasions, we have heard of trigger-happy police officers shooting to death innocent people.

I have used the word “innocent” because there hasn’t been any serious situation which would compel the police officers to kill a person. I gather that the greatest that police officers are supposed to do if things are getting out of hand is to shoot the pressuring individual/s in the leg so as to incapacitate them.

But now people are no longer safe at the hands of the police. The very same people who were supposed to give citizens the ultimate security have turned against them and are always eager to pull the trigger.

It pierced deep into my heart, and I know into the hearts of many others, to read in the media recently where it was revealed how two people were carelessly killed by a police vehicle in Balaka. Our country is already being afflicted with numerous maladies, including the devastating pandemic, HIV/Aids, and a death precipitated by a police officer should have been the last thing to happen.

I fail to believe what the police said that the driver of the fateful car will not be prosecuted because he was not in the wrong according to traffic reports. Why shouldn’t the courts be left to take care of the whole thing other than some police officers who might just be trying to shield their workmate saying it was the woman who was in the wrong?

No one is above justice, and the driver of the fateful car should be tried so that his claimed innocence should be clear.

It should have been left in the hands of the courts to decide who was necessarily wrong in whole fateful incident. Life is not something to toy with and it should not be taken anyhow. Every life that has been lost, especially in a road accident needs to be accounted for. And the lives of the unlucky woman and her child should not be exempted.

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