A double murder in a peaceful paradise? Something is terribly amiss somewhere

At the beginning of the week, a young man was jailed for life for one of the most gruesome killings to have taken place in this country in recent memory.

On Monday, 24-year-old Simanu’a Manuele, of Falefa and Toamua, was jailed over the “horrific” double killing of two men, one aged 69 while another 42 at Leulumoega in November last year.

Apart from the fact he used a machete to commit the crime, why Manuele did what he did and what went through his mind when he committed the unthinkable has never been told. 

And we probably might never find out now that he has been locked behind bars where murderers like him truly belong. That’s because when the Court proceedings started, the accused immediately pleaded guilty to the charges against him so that the details we would have otherwise been privileged to as part of a murder trial were spared.

Still, the thought of a double killing happening on these shores is quite chilling. It is sending out a shockwave across the country with the idea that something is terribly amiss in the make up of Samoan society today. 

This is a Christian-state after all where just about everyone dresses up in their Sunday best to attend church services where we sing and talk about love, forgiveness and all those wonderful Biblical principles. 

As if that’s not enough, there are curfews in most villages to minimise disruption while villagers have their evening prayers. Which is great when things go well. But when something like this happens, it’s natural that we stop to look at ourselves to try and determine how we arrived where we are today.

Truth be told, there are just too many petty crimes happening in Samoa today, from theft, rape, incest to murders and the lot. 

What is going on in our country? We talk about so much progress; is that really the case? Are cases like double murders, robberies and all these horrible criminal incidents we keep seeing every other week a sign of progress?

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We don’t think so. 

Development, progress and all the other fancy stuff we have in Samoa have obviously come with an expensive price tag. Part of it is an increasing crime rate, leaving massive unanswered questions about the state of our morals and values.

Ua sui lava Samoa, it translates to “Samoa has changed a lot.” This is quite a popular saying casually used in conversations, which is quite true. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Samoa of today is very different from the one many of us know from a few years ago. For one thing, some people are no longer afraid to commit crimes. 

It’s almost like it’s the norm to beat other people up out in the open. Some people find it so easy to wave guns around and to shoot someone else. Theft and robbery have become so commonplace. With the advent of CCTV, we’ve never seen so many different ways where Samoan people are stealing things, from money to anything they can get their hands on.

In bars, nightclubs and restaurants, many of them have become very unsafe. Patrons are alarmed and some are afraid to go there anymore. Some people behave like caged animals that have just been released. Others act like it’s a circus, it’s horrible.

This week, the video showing a young man walking into a store and punching a woman shopkeeper on the face, before taking off with her money, is the latest shocking incident to have emerged. 

So what is going on in Samoa today? And where do we go from here?

Well here is the thing, in times like this; we look to our leaders for answers.

Leaders after all determine the destiny of their followers. If they do the right thing, their followers cannot do wrong. But if the followers are misbehaving and doing what they are not supposed to do – including breaking the law and becoming wanton criminals – you can only wonder what their leaders are doing? 

The question we should ponder upon this weekend is; where is the leadership of this country today? And what are they going to do about the rise of petty crimes that is threatening the good name of this country and endangering the innocent lives of the people they are supposed to be responsible for?

Have an enjoyable weekend Samoa, God bless!

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