LightTalk on Nyasa: Zikomo Matope plans to sue police over ‘rogue and vagabond’ arrests, out of prison

My good friend Zikomo Matope, thanks heavens, is finally out of the country’s capital offenders’ den – Maula Prison. Exactly at 2:10 in the afternoon last Friday, he walked out of the cage looking as undisturbed as he had entered and so the light. Not much had changed about him. Same physique. Same chubby cheeks. Same majestic walk.

Even when I proposed that we drop by at Lilongwe’s Area 2 flea market and grab a t-shirt and a pair of jean trousers for a change, Zikomo Matope told me he was fine with the clothes he had entered prison with and insisted our first stop should be the nearest drinking joint.

I simply succumbed.

“Do you know that there’s no alcohol in that place dude?”

“I know.”

“Then why are you talking of unimportant things like clothes when you know well that I shall not live on clothes alone but from every drink you offer me on this independence day?”

I said nothing. He refused that we take a cab towards Lilongwe Old Town and, instead, advised that we walk. I could read from the way he let out each word that he was a man in his seventh heaven. His majestic walk was adorable and fast all throughout until we reached the stinking Lilongwe River Bridge. I trailed behind.

“I should get some kill-me-quick there,” Zikomo said pointing at the Area 2 flea market sitting at our left.

“What?”

“I heard there is now Win, Shooter, Black Power…eeeh…strong beer… I was told by Man Kafodya.”

“Who is Man Kafodya?”

“Oh. The most loved prison warder at Maula Prison. You only needed to buy him a packet of cigarettes to smuggle in your delicacies. Where is that beer? I need it like the Sacrament of Anointing for a dying Catholic.”

“We’re not going to drink it today. I want you to have fun, and I’m prepared that you’re treated to your Carlsberg Green all night.”

“All night? What happened to ‘Vakabu’?”

“It is no longer there.”

But before Zikomo Matope could fire his next question a woman in his mid-thirties passed by. She was well weaved. Succulent lips, lazy eyes and hips that would enable a baby sit on without a wrapper.

“I miss Mzuzu. I miss my Mzuzu. I miss my Sports Café,” was all that Zikomo Matope could say.

“Sports Café is no longer a place to be. Little Havana is,” I said.

Zikomo Matope said nothing. We walked up to the Devil Street where at Centre Point we ordered eight beers of Carlsberg Green at a go. Surprisingly, in less than three-quarter an hour we had emptied all the bottles. After I ordered a set of the next eight, Zikomo Matope spoke after a serious gulp that dropped his bottle’s content to half.

“So you say what happened to ‘Vakabu’?”

“It was challenged by a Blantyre vendor, who I call the most important Malawian to us as far as our nocturnal escapades are concerned. He was arrested while walking to Blantyre market for his business in the wee hour of a day I cannot recall now. He challenged the police for arresting him, and his mighty Justice Dingiswayo Madise defended him in a court of law. Madise called the law stupid, out-dated and, of course, columnists added more adjectives.”

“I will sue the police. Remember the times we were arrested? Over 60 times.”

“But it was a law that particular time.”

Zikomo Matope did not hear me. He had already jumped to the dance floor. Celebration, a trending South African hit was on.

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