Zambian Watchdog

Let Somalis live in peace

December 16
07:22 2012

The person who shot dead that Ndola man must be punished in accordance with the law. If the person is, after the due process of the law, found guilty of murder or manslaughter, he must be punished accordingly, whether he is Zambian or Somali.

But Zambians in Ndola should not take their lack of Millie meal, fuel and electricity on Somalis.

It is clear that the people who were looting shops owned by Somalis were motivated more by hunger than love of the dead compatriot. If that is not true, how come we saw people carrying bags of rice, sugar and other edibles from those shops?

Is that how we express anger in Zambia now, by stealing food?

It is very shameful that the friendly city of Ndola could engage itself in such lawlessness and stupidity.

There was absolutely no need for Ndola residents to burn the shops of Somalis just because one man presumably Zambian and another presumably Somali fought and one was killed.

The best those who consider themselves Zambian could have done was to avenge the death of their relative on the man who killed him.

Why attack a shop of someone who does not even know the person who killed the other, just because he came from the same country?

Let us not develop a reputation of xenophobia for our country. We have a good reputation so far of being friendly people.

Of course that does not mean other people should take advantage of our good nature. But beating up people from other countries and stealing their food when one of them commits a crime is utter rubbish. There is a civilised and acceptable way of dealing with people who commit crime on the Zambian soil.

Yes in Zambia we have a reputation of administering mob justice which can be or cannot be good depending on the set of facts. But whenever we go that route, we target the culprit as an individual. But why is Ndola targeting innocent Somalis?

Zambian also commits crimes in other countries. We have so many reported cases of Zambian committing crimes in other countries. There are so many Zambians in prisons of different countries. Other Zambians are currently on the run from other countries for crimes they committed as individuals.

Should people in those countries also riot, beat all Zambians and ransack their houses?

We are sure some of those people who were stealing food in the name of avenging the death of their compatriot are now on the buses to South Africa, Tanzania, China and other countries to do business. What if you land their and find that Zambian are targets of a riot because someone from Zambia committed a crime in that country?

Let us learn to demonstrate over things that are truly important.

We should not allow our petty jealousies make us blind and hate foreigners for our failures.

Foreigners could be running successful businesses in Ndola and Zambian failing to operate tumtembas; but that should not be blamed on foreigners.

 

In fact wherever you will go in Africa, you will discover that Africans from other countries are running more successful businesses than the local people.

The issue here is that Ndola residents are not so much angered by the killing of the Zambian; it’s more about the businesses of Somali people.

The PF regime is also directly to blame for the problems in Ndola. The government has in the past few months demonstrated unhealthy hatred for people who are not Zambians.

The PF government has been deporting people for no apparent reasons.

The behaviour of the government has sent signals to the people that this is the time to sort out foreigners who are in Zambia.

The PF regime has created and communicated to the people of Zambia that whenever there is a dispute between a Zambian and foreigner, the foreigner must be sorted out even if he is in the right.

This is what motivated the people of Ndola to steal food from Somalis. The PF is promoting xenophobia through its reckless deportations of foreigners without giving them a chance to seek justice.

When the people of Ndola were beating up Somalis, they believed they had the full backing of the government.

Zambia Lost $8.8 billion in illicit outflows between 2001-2010 - GFI report
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