Pinch them hard

Pinch them hard

A debate is brewing on social media. It concerns the army’s detention of 65 gang members who had become a menace in the villages.
We are told the army has no business detaining and ‘rehabilitating’ the dangerous gang members.

This is not an entirely wrong argument, only that it lacks context and is deviating from the crux of the matter. Five things are clear. First, the villagers are at peace because the gang members are off the streets. All they want is to live in peace.

Second, no one stopped the police from arresting the gang members before the army intervened. The police have said there is no investigation because no crime has been committed. This is despite that villagers tell horror stories of the violence visited upon them by the gangs.

Third, the police have not complained that the army has ‘stolen’ its responsibilities by detaining the gangsters. The villagers called in the army because the police were not helping.

Fourth, the parents of those rascals have not raised a finger to protest the detentions for they know the malcontents they sired.
Fifth, nothing is stopping concerned citizens from challenging the detentions.

All of which is to say all those shrieking about the detentions are borrowing offence. They are crying more than the bereaved.
There are those arguing that a curfew would have stopped the gangs from harassing the villagers. They are wrong. Those gangs were committing their crimes in broad daylight.

The villagers have been living under curfews imposed by the gangs for years. In any case, the villagers never asked for an official curfew or more police officers in their area. All they want is for the gangs to leave their villages.

It doesn’t matter whether those gangsters are consigned to a military barrack or have been sent to meet their ancestors. That is the kind of attitude you get when people are sick and tired of scoundrels and the police are not helping.

And it’s not as if the gang members would have been safer in police cells. We know the police are much more brutal than the army. The statistics of suspects who have died in police custody prove this point.
Some are complaining that some of the gangsters are minors. Well, minors have no business joining gangs. They should be busy playing ‘matloane instead of brandishing machetes and maiming people.

So, is the army’s intervention justified? The answer is yes, yes and yes. Should the army beat them? Yes, yes and yes.
The only problem is that the army might be creating monsters. Nothing is as dangerous as a militarily trained gang. By the time they leave the barracks, the gangsters would be so disciplined that their illegal operations will have military precision.

Instead of rehabilitating them, the army is probably unwittingly hardening and teaching them about the importance of having disciplined gangs.
So, by the time their ‘rehabilitation’ ends the gangsters will be clear about the role of a lieutenant general in a gang. There will be privates, sergeants, captains, majors and brigadiers.

That, right there, is the only reason the army should not be ‘rehabilitating’ anyone.
The army should just make it clear that they are beating the gangsters a little bit. That too will be a form of rehabilitation.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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