COMMENT: Shun violence and respect the sanctity of life

The Chronicle

BULAWAYO High Court judge Justice Christopher Dube-Banda this week bemoaned the upsurge in cases of violence especially at drinking spots.

Justice Dube-Banda who was speaking when he officially opened the Hwange High Court Circuit on Monday, said bars, bottle stores and other drinking places have become centres of violent crimes. He said petty disputes are escalated resulting in some people being killed.

Justice Dube-Banda said it was saddening to note that some people have turned drinking places, which are supposed to be places of enjoyment, into battlefields where okapi knives, axes, machetes and spears are used with reckless abandon.

“This conduct is unacceptable, we cannot bequeath a violent society to the future generation,” said Justice Dube-Banda.

What is not in dispute is that our society no longer respects the sanctity of life hence the increasing cases of murder reported daily across the country.

What is worrying, as rightly observed by Justice Dube-Banda, is that most of the murders are over petty disputes. The police warnings for people not to resort to violence to resolve disputes seem to be falling on deaf ears.

Hardly a day passes without reading a story of a person murdered in a fight and in most cases the fights are over petty issues.

Many murder cases have been reported recently and this is a real cause for concern. Many of these murder cases could have been avoided had individuals involved in the disputes sought assistance from third parties.

In the past individuals that engaged in violence were punished severely or even banished from communities. Killing a person was taboo and those who dared kill made the whole clan pay for their sins. The clan was made to pay several beasts and in some cases were forced to provide a woman to be married by the deceased’s relative.

The punishment, we want to believe, was deterrent hence there were few murder cases in the past. The situation has dramatically changed now as many people are being killed over trivial issues.

The challenge to community leaders such as village heads, chiefs, church leaders and political leaders is to restore moral values whereby individuals dread engaging in violence for fear of reprisals from society.

Those that choose to engage in violence should be declared outcasts and our courts should assist by incarcerating them for long periods.

The gospel of co-existence should be preached by each and every Zimbabwean and the message should be loud and clear that Zimbabwe does not tolerate violence.

Zimbabweans should shun all forms of violence and respect the sanctity of life as was the case in the past.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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