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Helter skelter

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We could start from the livestock usually found along main roads, the dogs running wild in our neighborhoods, the newly formed market outside Game / Shoprite Complex in Blantyre to the Sientas making driving in the cities a living nightmare; whichever way we start, the bottom line is the same – there is CHAOS in our cities and towns. If only it was organized chaos, unfortunately it isn’t, it is sheer chaos.

Sientas and motobikes

We thought minibus drivers were the most careless and carefree road users until Sientas and motorbikes came into the mix. Now one can hardly have a trip to town without one or two Sienta or motorbike drivers engaging in some nonsensical tactics on the road. These folks behave like they went to a special school to learn how to ‘raise the BP’ of other road users.

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The motorbike guys like to zig zag on the road, drive in the white lines and overtake willy nilly with desperate hunger for speed and accelerating beyond the capacity of their machines. Such fascination with speed would make one think they are fancy to be the next Micheal Schumacher when they ‘grow up’. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with ambition and it is a hazard to other road users.

Are Sienta and motorbike drivers fully regulated?

Unruly pedestrians

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One reason we take ages to evolve and develop in this country is our anything goes attitude towards just about anything and everything. In other countries a pedestrian cannot cross the road three metres from a pedestrian crossing and get away with it, nor do they jump into a pedestrian crossing anyhow with a car already crossing nor do they jump into the pedestrian crossing when the traffic light is on GO for cars.

But what do we see here?

People jump into the road anyhow. They walk in the main roads anyhow despite a full pavement for them to walk on. They stand in the roads, see and/or hear a car coming but do not move until the driver has honked a couple of times. Very retrogressive and dangerous behaviors that waste time and lead to avoidable accidents.

Are pedestrians fully regulated?

Mini markets on every corner

We now have a mini market outside Shoprite/Game Complex in Blantyre and it is growing every day. We have mini markets within Blantyre CBD. We have vendors at every point one stops, someone will be peeking through your window shoving something at you before you can turn of the ignition of the car. By the time you finish walking one block in town you would have had to reject five sellers.

Now, there is no problem with people making a living but there is a place for everything and we need to design our cities and towns in a way that honors that order. One should not have a headache of dealing with five vendors simply because they wanted to visit an insurance broker or the bank. Worse with the sheer lack of respect for personal space.

Are vendors fully regulated?

Direction is important

Direction is a catalyst for development. Our cities and towns need to tell the story of the country’s ambition to develop, to innovate and to prosper. Our retrogressive tendencies are going to leave us at the same level or sometimes worse off than before. Carefree attitudes do not build nations; they do not even build an individual’s life.

One cannot progress without a sense of responsibility and without adhering to standards and regulations. The same applies to the national at large, the ‘chaos’ and sometimes sheer nonsense we see happening every day in our towns and cities is an indication that we lack basic standards and sense of responsibility.

We can choose progress or the mediocre helter skelter way of life. However, if we chose the latter, let us not lament when we consistently fail to progress to the level we are actually capable of.

I rest my case.

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