THE dramatic story this week in which a Bulawayo man Mlondolozi Mpofu — who apparently is the chairman of Bulawayo City Club — desperately tried to save lives in an accident scene and in the process retrieved a safe box with
US$100 000 before handing it over back to its owners after the car crash had killed some of the security guards had Zimbabweans talking animatedly everywhere.
Editor’s Memo,Dumisani Muleya
Mpofu tried to save lives and recovered US$100 000 from a cash-in-transit vehicle which was involved in a fatal accident near Lupane before handing over the money to the security company.
He was the first and only person at the scene when a Safeguard Security cash-in-transit vehicle that was headed towards Bulawayo from Victoria Falls was involved in an accident on Wednesday last week. Mpofu, who was driving to Hwange, retrieved more than US$100 000, three pistols and also rushed one of the injured guards to hospital.
He then handed over the firearms to the police and the money to the security company in a gesture in which he refused to steal and enjoy blood money. Many, as they admitted on social media, would have succumbed to greed and stolen the cash to enjoy good life from the proceeds of theft, which would have had serious moral implications for the individual and society.
Stealing is one thing, but thieving from a pool of dying and dead people’s blood is quite another.
Now, what I found more interesting about this extraordinary story was not just Mpofu’s heroics, humanity and honesty, but how most people reacted to it.
By far the majority of those who commented on it lambasted Mpofu — whose first name Mlondolozi coincidentally means “saviour” in Ndebele/Zulu languages — claiming he was “stupid” and not a Good Samaritan as the media had reported.
Many ridiculed and attacked him in expletive-laden language to a point at which even neutrals could have ended up thinking he was an “idiot”, as critics said.
Some said he would die poor after squandering such a huge opportunity. Indeed, others added fortune knocks once at every man’s door; we all get at least one good chance in life to be successful or rich.
Others, the educated ones, even delved into theories of deviance, which deal with behaviour that violates social norms, and is usually of sufficient severity to warrant disapproval from the majority of society, to justify their positions.
Famous French sociologist Emile Durkheim believed deviance, particularly crime, was good for society to an extent. The theory of deviance is complex because societal norms vary considerably across groups, times, and spaces.
For how can a “normal” and possibly poor person pick up US$100 000 and go out of his way to give it back to its owners?, they asked. Many just couldn’t understand what sort of a person Mpofu is.
One thing for sure, Mpofu is not stupid or an idiot, as some would have us believe; he is an honest man and great citizen. The real idiots in this case, to return fire in defence of Mpofu, are those who steal, particularly public funds, and admire crooks. Those are the scum of the earth.
People who steal or are simply corrupt, mainly out of greed and venality, maybe clever, but not wise. They are criminals who are a clear and present danger to society. Even more strange was that the death of security guards and attempts to save some’s lives was not an issue for the media and most social media users, but money was.
We now live in a society where people glorify corruption and doing the right thing is seen by many as “stupid”, especially when it involves money, when the opposite is actually true.
That is why thieves, crooks and criminals have become role models in society, and, indeed, kleptocratic rulers in some cases.