Where has this culture of dispatching suspected offenders on the express highway to Hell by dousing them in petrol and setting them ablaze suddenly come from? I initially thought such grisly and macabre activities, absolutely perfect for a horror movie, were at least only imaginable in remote areas or shanty compounds where a number of our people may still be stuck in the quagmire of the ‘Stone Age’ way of looking at or resolving issues due to lack of knowledge. Little did I realise I was completely off tangent…..well, until a few days ago!
As the clock struck close to midnight, I was tossing and turning around in bed trying to summon some sleep when a piercing sound shrilled through the darkness and systematically drilled into my ears! My head immediately exploded in excruciating pain as I felt my sphincter muscles almost giving up…….Of course, it would be a misnomer for readers to conclude this writer is a weakling given to easily yielding to simple ailments which would compel him scuttling to the loo any how! I must confess I had been confined to the safe parameters of my bedroom for the past two days due to a combination of a splitting headache and running stomach.
Anyway, not to bore you with tales of our sudden indisposition these last few days, I groped for my cheap Chinese handset as I dashed to the bathroom. Quite obviously, my wife wouldn’t take kindly to my succumbing to the indiscretion of emptying the contents of my bowels on our matrimonial bed; well if at all there was still anything remaining inside of me given my recent frequent visitations to the bathroom.
“Folks from the neighbourhood have captured a suspected thief from our garage….” the voice on the other end of the line intoned, frantically. “They’re now threatening to set him ablaze……”
“Have you informed the police?” panick begun to set in, furiously.
“We’ve already done that!” the voice of our guard faltered. “They’ve now forced him on the ground and put tyres on him; and someone has already gone to fetch petrol and matches…..”
I frantically searched for whatever contact I could call for help in my phonebook. Fortunately, one of my friends was within the vicinity. He responded to my ‘SOS’ with the fire brigade approach. He arrived at the scene just as someone was about to strike the match stick.
“Why are you delaying to start the fire?” Someone argued. “We’ve to teach this goon a lesson, the Mumbwa way!”
A while ago, Mumbwa residents; hitherto a backwater rural enclave West of the country known for farming, ran amok burning and looting property when rumour mills came alight with captivating anecdotes that a local business tycoon and his foreign counterpart were behind the gruesome killings which had resulted in private parts being dismembered from the corpses – sets if you like! Matters came to a head when the mob finally got hold of the suspected culprits. They wasted no time emptying containers of fuel on them and torching them. Ouch!
We were just minutes away from recording yet another mindless loss of life at the hands of an irate mob.
Apparently, someone from the neighbourhood had requested to secure their goat in our garage for the night to prevent it from being mauled by their vicious dogs. They planned to slaughter it for some festivities the following day. At a certain interval, they sent their nephew – a visitor from the village, to check on the goat. Their invited guests would be absolutely disappointed if the promised mouth-watering goat meat wasn’t part of the menu. True to their worst fears, the young man couldn’t find the goat where he had secured it on a leash; he was obviously unsettled. He started turning things around like crazy as he searched for the goat.
Drawn to the commotion in the garage at that awkward hour when everyone should be home, some alert neighbours decided to raise alarm.
“Kabolala! Kabolala! Kabolala!” They screamed in unison.
Some youths immediately mobilised themselves and stormed the garage armed with all manner of weapons – catapults, pangas, slashers and axes! The menacing mob cornered the lad before he could take flight. None of them could ould buy the story that he found himself there to find a goat! They were determined to unleash mob justice on him to send a signal to would-be offenders that indeed the area was a “No Go Zone” after after a spate of thefts that rocked the area not so long ago.
“Have you seen any goats in here?” they taunted him. “You think we’re dimwits; since when did a garage become a kraal?”
They violently dragged him outside as heavy blows continued raining on him in rapid successions.
They had just tackled him to the ground on the middle of the road and begun piling tyres and any scrap material they could salvage, on him, when my colleague suddenly pitched up.
“Wait a minute!” he pleaded.
As if on cue, the goat equally bleated and dramatically trotted from underneath one of the benches where it had taken refuge.
Prince Bill M. Kaping’a