May 11, 2010

Mob Justice a Little too Close

I know I have written about the problems we have here in Mozambique with "Mob Mentality", vigilante justice in earlier posts. It does not take much to get a mob going and ready to do bodily harm to someone here. Today, we had a closer than I would like, experience with this personally.

This evening a man jumped our back wall. That is amazing considering it is a 20 ft high cinder block wall. He was out of breath, sweaty, shirtless, and had torn pants. He was running away from a mob that was chasing him and wanting to kill him. When the mob realized where he was they began banging on our front gates, yelling for us to put him out on the street so they could burn him because he was a thief.

Occasionally, someone that's accused of being a thief will be caught by a mob, beaten, have a tire put around their neck and then lit on fire to burn alive. It is horrible. It is heartwrenching. It is scary. It's disgusting.
It used to be unimaginable to us but we know it happens. We hear testimonies of it from time to time around town.

How do you react to such a thing?
Marc immediately ran outside when our guard began yelling, "Boss, boss. A thief, a thief." He assumed that the man was a thief since he had jumped our wall. I locked the door, locking Marc out of the back part of the house. He could still get in the front if he needed. I ushered our boys into a middle room that is not visible from the street and closed the drapes on the windows closest to the street. They were scared and immediately set to putting on their army gear to "protect" us. Our dogs were going crazy and did a great job barking and cornering the guy. (Note to self: We had a smart idea in having dogs for help in protection against intruders) Bowser, our male dog even grabbed a hold of the guys leg when he tried to get up suddenly just to let him know he wasn't supposed to be moving. Marc called the police to report the mob and this guy that had jumped our wall. At first, they tried to get us to bring the man to the police station, which by the way is the normal procedure because usually the police do not have vehicles. Marc refused and said he was not leaving the yard with this man and facing the mob. Finally the police came once they got a vehicle to use. It took a while for them to find our house because it was dark and we have no street name to describe where we live. By the time they arrived the mob had dissipated. Marc gave a report of what had happened and the police took the man with them to the station.

Sometimes, I think this place is crazy! I should say sometimes I know this place is crazy.
But, then I remember there is crime everywhere. There are problems everywhere.
Because there is sin everywhere.
And the safest place we can be is right in the center of the WILL OF GOD which for us is serving and living in Mozambique, Africa. 


Debi DiGiorgio said...

God's will is a safe place to be. We are glad it is all over with & you are safe.

Schilinski Clan said...

Sounds the same as Cameroon except it's called jungle justice here. Just the other day we were driving up our road and had to tell the boys to close their eyes quickly. A thief had been caught and killed a machete, not a pretty sight. That's the second in our neighbourhood in the two years we've lived here. We praise God for His protection and security!!!