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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Street kids causing ‘terror’ in Blantyre

Street kids in Blantyre- Credit: Times 360

Here a documentation of my experience (directly and indirectly) with street kids in Blantyre, the past three days (Friday to Sunday – 24th . 26th March, 2023); to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To give God the glory (by the people who will read it) for saving my life; valuables and lives of few others who will be mentioned here.
  2. To publicly thank God for saving me and others from the danger that lied ahead of us.
  3. To offer a renewed warning to people in Blantyre and those visiting it, of dangers associated with the street kids in the city.
  4. To appeal to authorities to do something about these kids. It is political will that can effectively eradicate this long standing menace.

Here we go:

Episode 1

On Friday 24th March, (at 8pm) I packed a car by the fuel station along Haile Selassie road, waiting to pick my wife coming from a church meeting in Chimwankhunda. Nearby (less than 7 meters) stood a man who was selling zikolopa and related stuff. He was approached by a lady who carried hand and traveling bags; asking where she can catch a Limbe bus.

The man was vividly expressed concern that this lady was alone at that hour of the evening. He therefore advised her to make every effort to quickly move out of the place before street kids pounce on her. At this point I didn’t appreciate his concern that much, until when episode 2 availed itself – a few minutes later.

Episode 2

My wife came and I started driving towards the right turn to join the Mt Soche Hotel – Kandodo Corner Shop street. Then a young man (in his twenties) ran past us from Nandos direction towards the fuel station. And another one ran towards our moving car shouting on top of his voice; desperately requesting us to rescue him from the street kids who were running after him shouting ‘wakubayo’.

Although it was dangerous to stop the car, I had no choice but whisked this man away. I thank God that after following up with him later, we gathered that finally both of them were safe and returned home (Mbayani) – aborting their trip to Bangwe for a night of prayer.

Episode 3

At 7:30 am today (Sunday, 26th March 2023), I was coming from the std bank atm hall (Mt Soche Hotel side); carrying my Bible to church. A boy (10 years of age or younger) said to me “abusa tigawireni ndalama”. Then I told him I did not have money at that moment, hence will do so tomorrow.

Then he said ok fine and proceeded with his journey together with his friend (about twenty years old); towards Livingstone Tower. Although I did not immediately sense any danger with them (cheated myself because it was during the day), I chose to keep some distance. All of us were walking towards Kandodo Corner Shop; and they greeted a few people on the way until they reached Livingstone Tower.

Episode 4

Right at Livingstone Tower, they met a man (around 30 years of age), going in opposite direction. In no time, they started harassing him and put their hands in his trouser pockets and left him after taking something.

Thereafter, the man looked disturbed; going all directions; but finally started going my direction. The kids turned off towards Nandos. Then I got closer to him and learned that he was robbed about MK 7,000. He was knocking off from workplace. After a few words of encouragement, we parted ways.

Episode 5

Few minutes later, and still on my way to church, I was meeting another young man (25 years of age) to give him his money. And I decided to share my experience with the street kids. To my surprise, he interrupted me to narrate his yesterday’s (Saturday) ordeal. Last evening (around 8pm), he stood outside a shop called ‘pay n save’ which is close to the fuel station I talked about.

There, he was waiting for his uncle who was buying something in that shop. Then 3 street kids came and surrounded him and demanded money from him. When he hesitated, all of them produced knives. One pointed the knife on his arm, another one on the leg and the third one on the stomach. They went away with about MK 9,000.

Eric R. Phiri

Blantyre Resident

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