Blantyre streets kids on the menace: School students advised to move in groups as security

People are being advised to be on high alert when moving around the streets of Blantyre, especially in deserted areas during off peak hours as there are rising cases of attacks perpetuated by what may seem to be innocent street kids out about their business of begging but have sinister motives of robbery.

Some street kids in Malawi begging from a motorist

There have been many allegations of street kids in Blantyre that they can even intimidate a grown up, whom they surrounding armed with sharp objects such as sharpened bicycle wheel spokes and razor blades in order to rob them.

There have also been instances where the kids would beg motorists who have stopped for the traffic rights and once they are not given anything, they would poke hard these sharpened bicycle wheel spokes on the car body and as the car starts to move, they leave a heavy scratch on the car body paint work.

“These kids can be a nuisance most times to us motorists,” commented Joseph Makandanje. “To avoid this we always make sure we carry loose change to give them. Another tactic is to engage positively with them and by and by they start to recognize you such that when you tell them you don’t have loose change, they let you go.

“Otherwise, if you become negative towards them, they take offense and try as much as possible to make you pay for it.”

Dr. Noel Kayange said he has treated three women who had been pierced with sharp objects on their bodies by these street kids and his patients narrated that when they finally managed to overpower them, some ran away with their luggage while the others remained behind just to escort their victims away so that they should not know where they had disappeared to.

“All these incidents happened on the street between Wenela Bus Depot and the roundabout at the Clock Tower and all between 6-7pm,” Kayange said.

Kayange also concurred with the car scratching allegation, saying he has seen it himself and also heard of these cases at crossroads traffic lights.

“They usually target cars coming Sanjika Road from MRA/DSTV side [at Blantyre Magistrate Court] crossroads. They wait until the green light comes on as you start taking off.”

Another hotspot for scratching cars include the traffic lights at Henry Henderson Institute.

Other reports are that the street kids also attack commercial sex workers especially at dawn when they start off from entertainment joints for their homes. Reports are saying they surround the night queens and poke the sharp bicycle spokes on their bodies as a threat until the women hand over the cash they had earned from their clients.

“Some commercial sex workers said they get attacked by these boys using razor blades apart from the spokes,” said Charles Mgwede. “Dark streets are dangerous at night like the one behind Development House used by revellers coming from Chez Ntemba night club.

“We once rescued a commercial worker who was being multiple raped inside one of the food vendors’ shacks at Wenela on the road from Doogles Bar. They took advantage that she was drunk but they also threatened her with razor blades.”

Other people said there are many victims who have fallen prey these kids and Talimba Mwalwanda advised early morning travelers going to catch buses at Wenela never to attempt walking up the streets from the Clock Tower roundabout when it is deserted.

“They hide under the rail overpass and rob travelers of their luggage and cash. It has happened many times,” he said.

It is in this being that day secondary school students are being advised to move in groups when they knock off in the late hours of the afternoon to avoid being attacked by streets kids, who of late have been alleged to have been aggressive to unsuspecting pedestrians on deserted streets and alleyways.

This advice came from Chichiri Secondary last Saturday, January 12 when the school’s management convened a meeting with parents to address several issues amongst them on academics performance and way forward.

Second deputy headteacher (academics), Mr. Banda, sounded the warning after hearing reports that street kids usually attack lone students in deserted streets and short cuts because they know they keep some change from the pocket allowances they receive from their parents.

“We have asked the kids to walk in groups after their study circles and preps which are done after knocking off at 3pm and also they should avoid using less trafficked short cuts and we urge you parents to seriously take the same message to them,” he said.

He did not mention if some students at that school have been attacked before but one student confirmed that once late last year some students fell prey to these street kids.

And Banda stressed on this security measure because one of their plans to improve their students’ performance is to enhance the study circles for Forms 1-3 and preps for Form 4s whose period is one hour after knocking off at 3pm.

He said Chichiri being a day school, they want the students to be studying right at campus first on what they had learnt that day and it is also up to the parents to make sure they also study at home. This means they will be going home a bit late when some of the streets are deserted, therefore falling prey to the street kids.

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Chilungamo
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Chilungamo

Giving these little thugs loose change is not the solution. It may work for now, temporarily. But these little thugs are growing in age and will one day graduate into hard-core criminals.
The primary cause of this poor government policy on population, of course because of political reasons. Some parties seem to benefit from this unchecked population growth many of whom are illiterate. Very inhumane indeed, taking advantage of illiterate people for votes.

Hora
Guest
Hora

The police are well aware of this situation but lack professional will,mostly because I think they are extremely underpaid,the other problem arises from the supposed to be human rights bodies this group is so biased such that when actaction to salvage the trend they make noise in their defense as if the victims do not deserve human rights. I can see a scenario similar to that of death wish 1,2,3 even 4 being experienced here in Malawi very soon wake up authorities.

concerned citizen
Guest
concerned citizen

The places and streets where these attacks are taking place have been pin pointed in this alert. Police, where are you ? If you were not aware, you have been given full information. Do your work. Keep those areas under watch. If the public take the law in to their own hands don’t say they are wrong. I personally, if the street kids approach me at a traffic light stop, I shall straight away pepper spray them. Nkhondo ayiyamba okha .

Mphepo zinai
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Mphepo zinai

The police nicopomps are more interested in standing by the roadside for a whole day waiting for their master to pass than inconviniencing themselves to attend to these criminals.

Wiseman
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Wiseman

Akati awachotse mu street aja azamaufulu aja amati chiyani? Auzeni athandizepo

ELIJAH VERSUS BAAL
Guest

Agents of men and women in uniform

Shaft Sachapandimadzi
Guest
Shaft Sachapandimadzi

These Street Kids are agents of some Police Officers. Once a robbery is done they give some shares to the Police Officers.Ever wondered that if such a crime is reported to Police Officers they r curious to ask u the identity of the street kids and value of items/money they hv robbed u so that afterwards they approach them and tell them exactly what they hv robbed u so that they get an equal share. But in the end nothing is recovered. No wonder such robbery is happening just behind Wenela Police office with full Policemen and Policewomen.

BigMan
Guest
BigMan

And the authorities are just watching, not bothered as these gangs grow right in front of our eyes.

Bond Namiaka
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Bond Namiaka

Concerned citizen where in Blantyre can one buy Pepper Spray? We need to protect ourselves. This kind of brazen lawlessness can only happen in a Banana republic. Please government do something and rein in this menace.