Jerabos: nurtured gangsters under community armpits

Gang Op-Ed

By YAPAKWENDA KALIMINAMBEBA
We are living in a society that can be said to be suffering from ‘community boil’ where gangsters are collecting like pus and debris under community armpits.

The insurgency of gangsters in Zambia is spreading like bush fire.

Just like fire, it always starts small. Before you know it, the building is gutted and nothing useful is left therein.

The emergency of all sorts of criminal gangs in Chingola, Kitwe and Lusaka are quickly spreading to all areas.

Without proper and speedy extinguishing agents, our beautiful country will be heading for untold chaos.

One may ask just when these criminal gangs begin. Where do they come from? Where is everyone in society when symptoms of this ‘abscess’ start to show? Why is community tolerant of criminality till it is out of control?

On the Copperbelt, for example, they start out as teenage mobsters, usually dagga puffing, multi-pocketed cargo pant sagging, with shaggy air illiterates from shanty compounds, who organize themselves into wannabe thugs and initially just threaten people by appearing like ‘real’ criminals.

Eventually, they grow into real criminals who terrorise society by stealing from, loot, raping, beating, killing, and maiming innocent citizens while society watch.

They brand themselves with fear-inspiring tags so they can psychologically instill fear in communities and physically intimidate inhabitants of townships in order to be let to do as they please without any form of resistance.

Imagine a multitude of marketeers suspending their livelihood activity of trade for days because of less than 50 youths causing confusion under the umbrella tag of jerabos! Can’t we be ashamed to have allowed them become what they are under our nose?

Even before we talk about such extremes, we have allowed characters such as taxi and minibus drivers to abandon road traffic regulations each and every day, putting thousands of lives in great danger.

Many are times when passengers on most of these public transports keep abnormally quiet when one rogue driver is driving recklessly, ignoring the danger they are exposed to.

A feeble citizens’ voice is only heard after a fatality has occurred.  After that, it’s business as usual!

What can we say about such characters, when we are busy throwing all sorts of filthy in the isles and through the windows of his bus while our seat-mates turn a blind eye to our own felony?

In compounds, we allow neighbours to throw garbage in undesignated areas while we whistle away as if we have not seen anything.

Public officers are allowed to treat us the way they want even when we know we pay them. Everywhere you go, the situation is the same

It is the culture we have inherited from years of tolerating wrong doing in our midst, waiting for Christ to come and do something for us. After all we are a Christian nation!  Yes, we are all swimming in our own pus of condoned community mischief.

We are quick to blame the police, councilor, President among other leaders why not blame ourselves?

Have we reached the status of God’s case, no appeal? Not just now.

It took one Inspector General of Police Ephraim Mateyo to boldly declare war on car criminals who had become endemic in Zambia at one time and ended the community malaise that was seemingly getting out of control.

It took One Dr FTJ Chiluba to end queues of essential commodities and transport blues the country was grappling with.

It took One Levy Mwanawasa to declare war on corruption and the hopeless economy began to tick.

It took one Michael Sata to say enough is enough with potholed roads everywhere and we are seeing progress in the road sector.

We appeal to President Edgar Lungu to take a stance through his Inspector General of Police to completely squeeze out these pus-like criminals and initiate a serious community sensitization to educate people on how to nip criminality in the bud.

This is the incision and drain our sick society requires. Like that of the skin abscess, the earlier and thorough this is done, the better for a healthier and progressive Zambia.