Social media has become a very important tool for a number of reasons, perhaps prominent one being that it enables users to share content faster.
Social media platforms like Facebook are always busy with debates, some serious while others are playful in nature. Different societies debate issues that affect them and sometimes the issues even catch the attention of international communities.
One of the hottest topics on social media currently is crime. A group of people who wanted to assist victims of crime recover their properties started a Facebook page; Fight Crime in Gaborone. This is one of the most active groups on social media, in that an hour hardly passes without someone posting about their experience at the hands of criminals. The recent mob killing of a young man alleged to have been a known smash-and-grab thief started an explosive debate. It pitted those in support of the mob action, against those who saw the act as inhumane. The debate still left some people feeling mob justice might be the only way to curb petty crimes in the country.
Apart from the inhumane part, mob justice has a number of challenges some of these being, the mob assaulting the wrong person due to mistaken identity, and issues of retaliation; thieves might decide to be more aggressive as a response to the decision taken by the society to stone
Many thought the Mogoditshane mob incident would send a message to thieves across the country, but not much has changed because people still continue to post on Facebook about their experiences.
We need to act fast and take back our streets. We need to create a safer Botswana for our children, a Botswana where individuals can take a stroll at night without fear. Different stakeholders need to come together and lobby the government to tighten the legal system.
People are disgruntled and feel the legal system is failing them. Thieves are usually released with a bond of a couple of hundred pulas, and surprisingly, they keep getting bail even after committing the same offences. Let’s lobby the government to review our legal system, and apply more stricter terms for bail, and also introduce heftier penalties for criminals.
Truth be told, thieves have it easy in our country, hence the frustration by members of the public who end up resorting to mob justice. Many people have reported burglary cases to the police and some have given up on ever getting their properties back or getting feedback from the police that the criminals have been caught. Let’s stand together and fight crime