This week I had to visit a long-time friend due to a family emergency. Disclaimer- I grew up literally in Area 18. I was born in Area 18B near Group Zimbas house, my best friends have included the area 18 team of Kachimanga’s, Gwengwe ladies, Namani boys (don’t know where they are) , Kamuyambenis, the bluebird twins, Mtuwa’s, Namisengos and of course in Area 18A from the time of Palikisenis, Paipi and his sugar canes (filled with sewer), Muhariwas, Joppi Mawila Phiris, Saukira Ndalama’s, kwa Makiyoni, kwa Thide, Kondwani wa Yased and many others including these days we had Mafunyetas, Das Kapitapita and Malinga. That’s the Area 18 I grew up in. Of course, I moved to Blantyre for the last 13 years, but many we have kept in touch.
I know many will start looking for me now that I have revealed one of my few links in this life. Last week I had to visit Area 18. It was nice to see old faces, like Eustina Lungus looking still young and charming, people like Chigamba’s the young one who told me he is now married and of course several naughty kids I knew when we were growing up now wearing Police uniforms. Of course, I missed the closure of Maimba’s and the death of Akweni in area 18b, a lady who told us stories about Kamuzu Banda.
The Area 18 I grew up in has produced names across the country, young and ambitious men and women have come out in Area 18. Forget the different tags Area 18 has had to wear before from Kachasu distillers when we were 5years old, prostitution and single mothers den to even contributing a Deputy Mayor for our capital. We have produced music, sports and media stars. We have run Capital Hill for years.
Now imagine I found myself this week I had to visit the now famous Salima street to condole my friends whom some of their family members had departed to glory a week earlier. It was the same day the story of Khama Matupa’s MWK95 million claim to Lilongwe water board came out. I fully support the claim, even the MWK2 billion the other residents are claiming is peanuts. Anybody in Area 18 will take years for them to drink water from those taps.
They must buy water now, many retirees, or from a poorly paid capital hill service can’t afford already high cost of water from Water Board which includes VAT. Now they should buy water to drink.
Worst still the shit they were made to drink comes with all sorts of diseases, many will find out months or years later how many diseases they contracted. Who will compensate the causes of this reckless behaviour by our service providers. The recklessness of service providers comes with what is common in Malawi, nobody assuming responsibility.
What happened in Area 18 is criminal negligence in law. Chief Executives for Lilongwe Water Board, Lilongwe City Council and Malawi Housing Corporation should have been in jail now with their directors of water services, engineering and finances.
They are responsible for causing genocide of over 800 people and doing nothing about it. They have offered comical apology and excuses. Nobody has taken responsibility of what this means to a human life. Human faeces contain all sorts of diseases, a doctor deliberately injecting diseases to a human being is charged with manslaughter or criminal negligence- this is the same, these people need to be jailed.
Now the first person to be arrested is that Mayor Bikoko, he made too much noise about a clean city. After his famous election, he has disappeared worse than that old man we taunted to be sleepy. He has been negligent to bring change and fix sewers.
Mayor Bikoko and his Councillor for Area 18 Akwame Bandawe know that those sewers in Area 18, especially near Bandawes whose mother was also a councillor for the area have been bursting for years. One enterprising man known as Kapito waters vegetables and fruits from sewer.
Then arrest Chief Executive Officer for Lilongwe alongside Director of Finance and Director of Engineering, these people collect money from Area 18 residents in different forms and are paid salary but neglected to do their job- either fix the sewer pipe or force using bye-laws the one responsible. The stupid blame game the City has resorted to does not absolve them from the criminal negligent behaviour.
Of course, tell Bikoko and his councillors to go Area 18 and speak to residents. What is he scared of, he can’t even be seen to be speaking to be on the side of residents.
Then we have Malawi Housing Corporation which has been collecting rent, locking houses and neglecting the houses at the same time. If there is a corporation which should have been disbanded for negligence is MHC. Anyone in MHC house for over 10 years deserves a free house for keeping it standing- tenants have been maintaining the houses themselves and paying MHC rent, something which is not applicable in property law. If each of the tenant can bring receipts of maintenance to housing, they will be seen to be collecting illegal rentals after they abdicated their legal responsibility to the tenants.
Now add that to failing to maintain sewer pipes. I remember when I lived in Area 18 we had to pay housing people extra money to clean the sewerage. I am shocked that MHC thinks the sewerage matter does not concern them. It does, they have been criminally negligent in maintaining the sewer system, houses and even on safety of those houses. Please lock up them quickly.
The final one is Lilongwe Water Board. Their pipes took feaces, manyi into people’s homes. They want to deny liability. Its laughable when these people open their mouths, their lawyers are not good lawyers. Forget the boards- they are full of useless political appointees.
Now, if I were Mayor and CEOs for the City, Housing and Water Board and their Board Chairpersons and Directors, I would quickly resign, because the cover the political masters are pretending to provide will soon crumble.
Instead of rejecting MWK95 million from Khama Matupa, my lawyers would have been going quietly to each resident and try to make a deal to clear the matter. Because in terms of negligence- a very critical component of Tort Law (which your lawyers might have studied) is very clear. All the elements of it are easy to prove. Yes, I am a lawyer from Area 18, now you know what is coming.
No amount of money will heal the scar of looking at taps and thinking of how many have died from criminal negligence of the service providers in Malawi. These cancers, these funny diseases, increase in herpes and others- water, unclean water we have been paying for, failing sewerage system despite paying city rates and housing rents and even after reporting all these years, City, Water Board and Housing all bear responsibility.
Now with elections in 2019, President Peter Mutharika who has been crying against underperforming agencies, many waiting for him to solve their problems, has a way out to jerk of reforms in parastatals. Arrest and prosecute the CEOs and the Mayor of criminal negligence. Malawi, my country will be waking up, Malawi adzuka to ensuring standards.
If I were the CEO, I would too wake up, go to Area 18 salima and ntchisi streets, offer to drink water with cameras from the taps, free water for five years, from the city a plot of choice any part of Lilongwe free of charge and from Housing free houses for those that have not bought or a return of part of payments.
Instead of basking is false sense of security after the sewerage, please be informed that all mysterious water borne deaths in Area 18 will be on you. It starts now.
Dzuka Mayor, Dzukani ma CEO, criminal negligence is real and coming for you. Nobody will save you from it, nobody should cheat you. Instead of rejecting claims, start negotiating faster- the facts are simple, people drunk shit and your all collectively are responsible. Khama Matupa and Leornard Phiri were modest in their request, an application to the Director of Public Prosecution to allow private prosecution on this matter will surely be granted. Its time to wake up for CEOs that are paid millions of taxpayers money and not offer expected service.
I wish I still had my house in Area 18. But we will meet in court as I represent my friends to ensure justice is delivered. No man or woman or child in his lifetime should be subjected to eating another human being faeces. Its criminal, its genocide.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :