Friday, August 14, 2009

"Get lost...I repeat, get lost"

I was going through some old newspapers yesterday and I came across an article in the Malawi News of 14th February 2009. Of course there were alot of valentine messages and pictures of lovebirds. But what caught my eye was a letter from a reader written in chichewa, Malawi's main local language.
The reader was complaining about the conduct of a police officer around Ntaja in Machinga district. The writer alleged that after being arrested the cop started marching him towards a police station in the vicinity. Along the way the law enforcer reporterdly found money amounting to 12-thousand Kwacha or so in the man's pockets. It is claimed the policeman started threatening the man with a gun and then started saying 'Yendera yako' in other words: "Get lost". The complainant said the cop repeated the words and then ran away. He also said after reporting the matter to the 'culprit's' fellow officers, the man was promised that the money would be returned, a thing that never happened. Quite interesting!
If this indeed happened then there is still some way before the police reform programme that has been there for years (or did it wind up?) will show tangible fruit. I'm saying this because earlier this week the Daily Times wrote that police officials had harassed its reporters because they were taking pictures of a demolition exercise of illegal market stalls in Blantyre. Not long ago the Nation also said the police had forced its photo-journalist to delete pictures he took regarding a wrangle between passengers of an international bus company and operators of the vehicle.
The question remains whose interest are the law enforcers supposed to serve? Or in the case of the Machinga saga, who should be running away from who between a detained person and a policeman?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Eating and Saving a Life...

Troubling news came through on Sunday evening and it was to the effect that a distant relation in Machinjiri Township, Blantyre had hanged himself. Apparently the man, Rogers, had been going through severe financial problems and he thought the only way out was to commit suicide, leaving behind a wife and two very young children.
Those who witnessed the final moments of Rogers say he was still alive when he was taken to one of the hospitals in the city.
Unfortunately for the relatives who were trying to save the man's life, it was dinner time for nurses and other medics at the health facility! They reporterdly went on with their business of eating the evening meal as Rogers lay in poor condition. By the time the medical staff had finished enjoying dinner and started to check on Rogers, he was no more. Shocking!
Allegations of nurses being rude to patients and showing disregard to emergencies have been around for some time now. On one occasion I personally saw a mother holding a very ill young son rush into the hall of the referall hospital in Blantyre, QECH, to alert medics about the need for a trolley or a wheel-chair. Nobody seemed to care and the woman ended up handling the trolley herself...she was later assisted by a minibus conductor whose vehicle had kindly agreed to make a diversion to the hospital!
Is it that medical workers get so used to the ill that their hearts and souls get calloused:hardened to the point that a dying person, a mother in distress are trivia to them? Could it be demotivation due to financial or other reasons?
I'm baffled and I cannot find a mouth with which to narrate my astonishment!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

On the shoulders...

It was my birthday two days ago and I felt quite old when some friend texted me a message citing my age. But then my sister reminded me how blessed it was to reach that age when other folks are dying younger than myself. I thank God to have eaten so many Christmases!

I heard my senior pastor make a quote of a famous scientist Isaac Newton that said 'If I see far it is because I stand on the shoulders of other people'. Profound! Many are a time we forget how family, friends and relatives have carried us to success. I can single out my mom, my sis Chitsanzo, late sis Anne, late aunt Pauline Kwacha, my uncle Don Mlenga, Rev Patrick Semphere, Mr Henry Yakobe, Victor Kaonga, Fletcher Ziwoya, late Don Chimera, the Baliles family, Bruce and Derek Zamaere as some of the people who I have stood on their shoulders on my way to some achievements in my life.
When the youth are having their values upside down it is important to have mentors to show them the way they should go. Having grown largely without a father, I know the need to have a father-figure, or a 'prophet' who will teach, correct and rebuke!

On another note I have been in Malawi for over a month now and I'm yet to find a job. It is easy to start thinking 'Maybe I should have stayed on in Europe' having met an unexpected responses from some bosses and organisations who seemed they would welcome me with three arms upon my return! Still, I feel I made the right move and everything will fall into place in good time. God is faithful, He will not let my foot slip (Psalm 121).
Stay blessed and focused on the goodness of God. May He prosper and encourage you!! Especially you who feel you are going nowhere!!