Justice Sometimes

I am preaching a revival in Magoye this week. The atmosphere is great. They meet in a school room that does not have electricity. It reminds me of when we first started in Mazabuka. Pastor Benson lights the candle and melts some of the wax on the wall and then sticks the candle to the melted wax on the wall and “viola” instant light. I am sure many people have seen this done before but it was a first for me and I was impressed.

 Police bulletin. I was returning from Lusaka when I was pulled over for speeding as I was leaving Kafue. I had a car full of people and I could hardly believe I was being pulled over as I was sure I was going the proper speed limit in fact I thought I was going below what I could get away with. So I told the officer with the radar gun that I was going 65K in an exasperated manner and he smiled and said that is what he clocked me at but the limit was 50K. I knew that had to be wrong but he just waved me to the money collectors. The blood tends to boil when you think you are experiencing injustice. This is especially true for Americans, it seems the rest of the world is used to it (sorry, American prejudice). Now I am doing my utmost to try not to pay the fine. I am aware that something is not right, but I am not exactly sure what. The speed limits are usually 50k in town and then increasing to 65k, then 80K and finally 100K. The same thing happens in reverse as you enter town. So I am trying to say that the speed limit had changed to 65K since I was obviously no longer in town. They asked where did I see a sign. I had to admit that the last sign I saw was 50K on the far side of Kafue as I entered town. I questioned how the speed limit could possibly be 50K at this spot. They assured me that they have asked the traffic department the same question and that for safety reasons the speed limit must be 50K at this spot. They are starting to get irritated at me as they are pulling over many vehicles and I am now getting a crowd of Zambians watch me argue with the police. So I start pointing out the signs that I can remember coming into town from the opposite direction I was going. As the signs became more in focus in my mind and I started verbalizing where I thought the signs were they became a little less confident and maybe even the heads went down. It turns out it was 50K going out of town away from endangering people and 80K going into town getting closer to endangering people at the same exact spot. This was enough logic for me to know that these guys were taking advantage of no posted signs to take advantage of drivers. Now I am trying to get them to et least see how illogical that is, yet alone unrighteous. They switched tactics as they saw that the other victims were beginning to understand the situation in which they were being ticketed. They decided to fill out a form allowing me to deny the charge. No copy, no court date and no instruction on how to bring it to court. I guess they just wanted me out of there.

 My problem with this is really the Zambian mentality of not expecting justice and not even protesting when suffering injustices. The letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law. Guilty? Yes. Justice? No.


About hansston

Pastor a church in Sparta.
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