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We all need the law

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The law is simply defined as an order of government; collection of rules by which a country is governed; or order in which things should happen. The Judges and magistrates pronounce the law, and the lawyers practise the law.

Rule is law or custom which guides or controls behaviour or actions; decisions made by any nation, about what must or must not be done; rather something that is the usual practice.

Constitution is a system of government; law and principles according to which a state is governed; or laws and customs of a country, society etc. Whatever is in agreement with the laws and customs is called constitutional.

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The law, rule and constitution in any country or society do not work against each other, they complement one another. Law without rule and constitution is the needle without the thread, the syringe without the liquid. They need each other to work effectively. A country without these three is like a ship without a rudder. The law is the rod and staff of the shepherd to guide the sheep, the net of the fisherman, and the hoe of the farmer. The law stood for truth, justice, goodness and perfection.

Law breaking is a crime; it is an offence for which there is punishment by law. And how can we mention crime without reference to the law? And how on earth can we mention law without reference to the crime.

Now, notice what happens when the law enters where a crime has been committed; your heart misses a beat, you no longer feel secure, you know that you are personally as guilty. The law turns the stomach sour, the earthquake of the law can make a man change his priorities and therefore its office should never be despised. The law has tenure; it takes out people in high office while they vainly attempted to rape it.

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It must have been incredible to have been alive when Malawi has experienced its worst financial mismanagement scandal in the Capital Hill chastened ‘the cash gate’. It has met with mixed reactions, donor pull out, trials are the order of the day, blame-games, finger pointing, and the citizenry has lost trust in the financial system of the government. Questions remain answered why and how their taxes have been swindled by a few, reaping where they did not sow and gathering where they have not scattered seed. Now the trouble looms, these quick and easy methods has brought a number of problems – caught up in the pangs and tentacles of the law.

Sentences are being passed, other convicts are crying foul, telling the nation that they were betrayed, instructed rather given orders to steal systematically from the government coffers. Such crocodile tears can be linked to the song ‘Sufferer’ by the Joseph Hill and the Jamaican reggae outfit Culture, it says; ‘….. Son, you can steal but please do not be caught! Jesus’.

Everyone who was involved in these Cashgate scandal is looking for a way out. There is no easy way out; you won’t get respect or mercy if you deliberately joined a gang of ruthless robbers.

Do you think that those that has survived or will survive the wrath of the law in these cases are to be happy in this life to come, as their friends and loved ones, are been sent to jail to face the long arm of the law? Bees normally would give their best and lives to protect their hive, but if an intruder pumps smoke into it, they gorge themselves on honey and become lethargic, allowing their territory and hive to be raided rather than for them to die.

A thumb up to those that are acknowledging their crimes, it’s unfortunate that some are failing to understand why the law has pounced on them. Sentencing someone without the understanding of the law is like to give medicine to him when he is not sick. We shouldn’t then be surprised if he pours it down.

If the law is not understood, repercussions will follow; the convicted won’t appreciate the law’s potential, he will continue to live in inward lawlessness and will never fully comprehend nor appreciate what could have disciplined him and deter others. So long as there is one convict who doesn’t know the law, then the law itself is the debtor to serve him until he does. And the danger is that he will be a potential customer of the wrath of the law because of his ignorance. That lack of knowledge on what he has done is like building what he cannot finish. There is no sense in drawing water, when the bucket is filled with holes.

A man who doesn’t believe he is drowning will make no effort to be saved, but if he suddenly believes that he is about to perish, he will desperately make any effort to be saved, in fact, a drowning man will even become violent in desperation to a point where the life guard has to knock him unconscious, so he can get him to the safety of the shore. If you have a suspect who wills listen to you, take advantage of that opportunity to create thirst with the law, because the day may come when he refuses to hear the law and come under severe punishment.

When the nail of the law penetrates the heart, it may be a matter of time before we see visible results. The law makes a man desperate, it shows him that he is drowning in crime, and it’s a brush which paints a clear picture of the crime. The law is the light and with that light there is almost always heat. It has taken most honorable people in the society to a laughing stock, it made others to live their mansion and slept in filthy wall of a cell and feasted by gargantuan mosquitoes.

Before being convicted, they were once living a happy life, content, satisfied, cheerful, thankful, and joyful. They were loving life and living it to the full. However, when they were confronted by the law, and understood that riches profit not on the day of the wrath. We all want to be happy, but the question is; can we be truly and continually happy when we are breaking the law? Even if we are not yet caught, we continue to live in lawlessness, and then we have a struggle with the world, thinking cheaply that the law has no practical purpose. We are law- breakers at large. Whoso ever wants to be a friend of crimes makes himself an enemy of the society rather the law?

Who in today’s society doesn’t tell the occasional ‘white lie’ now and then? or take something that belongs to some else. Even if it is just ‘white collar’ crime? We know we are over the limit; but our security is in fact that so many others are just as guilty.

The function of the law is not merely to punish severe or to kill, but to bring sanity and the dead souls into life. It instills discipline not fear. When the law is freely allowed to do its work without interference, it takes out stones from the ground leaving soft and tender soil; it separates goats from sheeps, it humbles and produces contrition.

The law revives the conscience. It puts kick back into what seemed to be astray, so that the criminals’ transgression will be brought into the open. If we do not understand the function of law that it is good, if it is used lawfully, then our own natural thinking will be offended by it. We will want it to be set aside.

The spade of law turned the soil and exposes the stones of hidden crimes, when these are removed through trial, it left the good soil of knowledge and understanding and the heart that see itself in the truth. Those who have no knowledge of how wicked is a crime, fail to see the price of having the law.

The law-less society produces lawless people, who are not established in the law. They are not given the knowledge of crimes and therefore continue to make gruesome crimes against their own society, ‘like people like society’

Take out the law from the society, that’s you take out the backbone out. The law upholds the society, and it feeds it, the law is the foundation, the walls, the roof of the society, leave off the foundation, the walls and the roof and it goes nowhere. When the society throw off what it thinks are the shackles in the law, they don’t find liberty, but bondage. They took the law from their walls and they wonder why this generation kills, steals etc without qualms of conscience.

Crime rates sky-rocketing, what else we can expect when you shall not kill steal etc is removed from our books. Malawi needs the Shire River at all cost, though it has the marauding crocodiles in it, likewise we all need the law. A lawful Malawi will be a nation of free drug abuse, crime of passion, murder, rape, theft etc. The only way to bring about a lawful nation is through strengthening the law itself.

There are many that have used the law unlawful and defiled it in the sight of people. The hammer of the law is only good if it is used to nail law breakers; if it is wielded unlawfully, the blame lies in the hand using the hammer, and not the tool itself.

The celebrated South African writer Allan Paton in this book ‘Cry the Beloved Country’ wrote; ……The land is the land of fear, a Judge must be without fear, so that that justice may be done accordingly to the law. Therefore a Judge must be incorruptible. The Judge does not make the law. It is the people that make the law. Therefore if a law is unjust and if the Judge judges according to the law, that is justice, even if it is not just.

It is the duty of a Judge to do justice, but it is only the people that can be just. Therefore if justice be not just, that is not to be laid at the door of the Judge, but at the door of the people….’

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