THE Young African Leaders Initiative has called on police to arrest two Chengelo Secondary School pupils who assaulted their friend in the dormitory.
But Gawen Powell, the victim, says he has forgiven the two pupils who beat him up and has asked Zambians to forget about what happened and leave it in the past.
A video of two Chengelo Secondary School boys brutalising their colleague while hailing insults at him following a difference has gone viral on social media, with Facebook fanatics taking to the institution’s page to vent their anger after an apology was tendered by the school. Chengelo School principal Andrew Cowling has assured that the school will conclusively deal with the matter, which it is calling bullying.
In the video, the first boy is heard showering unprintables on Gawen in a gangster fashion before the other joined in with a belt. A few seconds later, fists and kicks were added, alongside insults on the victim who kept apologizing to them. But the two boys who seemed not to care about the video shooting by one of their colleagues continued to punch their friend, shoved him on the banker bed before bandling him on one of the tables for more kicks.
Others around watched helplessly until one of them courageously walked to the two boys told them to stop beating their friend.
Chengelo school swiftly issued an apology over the incident after the video was leaked and assured that action would be taken against the perpetrators.
“It is with deep regret that we acknowledge the recent incident that took place here at Chengelo School on Friday evening. This extreme case of assault and the conduct of all those involved leaves us all saddened and appalled by the conduct of our own students. The School Management and Board of Governors are dealing with the case in line with our own safeguarding policies. In doing so, the school has spoken to all of the parents of students involved in the incident as well as senior police authorities and legal advisors to ensure that all appropriate procedures are followed,” Cowling stated in a statement posted on the school’s Facebook page.
And in a posting on his Facebook page, Gawen stated that he was alright and thanked everyone for checking on him.
“I want to say thank you to everybody for checking on me, I am alright. I want to say please may we stop making these memes and all. I have forgiven Jabulani and Mwila, we are cool. I don’t want this to go anywhere. I don’t want the police to get involved, this all [is] just getting too much, I mean ZNBC even for what? Can we please just delete all the irrelevant memes that have been posted. May we please just forget all about this and leave it in the past. Thanks. #spread the peace,”
But Young African Leaders Initiative governance advisor Isaac Mwanza said yesterday that the law must take its course on the perpetrators of violence.
“We call upon the police to effect the arrest of the two students engaged in the bullying and allow the due process of the law to take its course,”
“We want to remind the police to begin taking these incidences seriously and, the matter being one of criminal nature, to be subjected to the wheels of justice. We cannot allow situations where victims on criminal acts enter into deals with accused persons and forgive them for any other reason.”
He said criminal offences must be allowed to be disposed of through the court process so that the law could firmly redress crimes committed against the State.
“We have had incidences where people withdraw cases of assault, including some gender based violence at the mediation of law enforcers and the parties. These incidences have only gone to contribute in the rise in the number of crimes,” Mwanza said.
“What started as GBV has now been transformed into gun-crimes among spouses and if the police allow what happened at Chengelo School to go unpunished, they should understand that they are creating [impetus] towards more advanced crimes among youngsters.”
He stated the Police would have no one to blame if crime continued to rise in the Zambian society. Mwanza also called on the judiciary and law enforcement officers to help create a safer society and mete out deterrent punishments meant to reform offenders.
“We cannot allow a situation where people are assaulting and killing each other only to get acquittals or forgiveness from another party. This is extremely dangerous and is one reason why crime is on the rise,” stated Mwanza.