We are concerned with the re-emerging culture of gangs in Zambia today, especially in Lusaka and the Copperbelt Province, where these even have the audacity to publicly parade themselves on social media, with impunity, to announce their existence.
It is as if they are infact making sure that they clear any iota of doubt that those of us, who have never had any encounter with them, may have heard about their existence or presence in our communities.
We may have no connection or dealings with these gangs of course therefore we cannot know their good side, if any. But one thing we are sure about them is that their current contribution to society is crime and violence.
These boys, we must state, are infact serious criminals in the making who do not deserve any leniency from police because they are have infact subjected all of communities with fear of the unknown.
People are now even scared of their very own shadows in the night because they are often suspicious of the person coming in front. Townships are infact no longer the safe havens that they used to be.
Wouldn’t society be so much better without that blanket of fear coating people – the fear of being attacked as one walks to work early in the morning; the fear of being attacked as one walks home in the night; the fear of being stripped naked as one walks from a social club in the night; the fear of being caught in the cross fire as the gang members fight.
We still feel the police have not acted with seriousness to stop these gangs. The police well understand how these gangs work and where they could be found because they have in the past apprehended some members of these gangs.
The statements by the police that they cannot apprehend the gang members without there being complaints against them, do not hold water too because these are persons who by virtue of belonging to the gangs have committed an offence for which they should be arrested and charged.
Our appeal to the police is that they should take the threat being posed by the organized groups countrywide seriously and immediately act to stop them because our society is no longer safe.
Let them not wait until it’s too late.