The government has responded to the killing this week of a local pro-ruling party radio presenter, by imposing a curfew which restricts movement between 10:00pm and 04:00.
As is to be expected, the government has come in for tough criticism from several quarters of the populace.
Some members of the public argue that criminals don’t have specific times of operation but act when it is opportune, day or night. They feel the government should rather empower crime fighting entities such as the police without compromising the public by impinging on people’s right to movement.
On Tuesday, the matter was also a topic of hot debate in the National Assembly, with some members of parliament accusing the administration of using the curfew as a diversion from its own shortcomings.
They noted that murders occur all the time in the country, and questioned the government’s real motives by choosing this particular one to enforce the curfew.
This is not helped by the fact that a member of parliament from the ruling Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party went viral in an audio clip condemning the murder of the presenter who he described as a supporter of the RFP.
The MP is also heard in the audio clip suggesting that one of the opposition parties is responsible for the murder. By saying this, does he know something that we don’t know? If so, we encourage him to approach the police and give them whatever information he might have.
The legislator goes on to advise members of his party to be on high alert so they can defend themselves should there be an attempt on their own lives.
We find the MP’s utterances not so honourable and bordering on unwarranted recklessness and gross irresponsibility. He should know better that it is uncalled for to make statements that have potential to whip up public emotions or cause alarm and despondency in the country.
We question what the MP’s real motive was by saying what he said, if it is not to score cheap political points or attract undue sympathy. We can only expect the ruling party to publicly condemn his utterances and call him to order.
We don’t need such divisive remarks but we should allow law enforcement agencies to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrator/s to book.
While we generally support the curfew, we also urge the government to consider the economic impact of the action on businesses that are struggling to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially those in the hospitality and entertainment industry.