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In support of Chankhanga pupils

The recent incident that happened in Kasungu District where pupils from Chankhanga Primary School destroyed property at Kasungu Municipal Council in protest against the sale of their playground to businessmen should send a strong message to the authorities that the youth in the country are frustrated.

I feel that the children were justified to vent their anger on the municipality’s property because they were frustrated.

They knew that even if they complained to the relevant authorities, their complaint could have been trashed.

The importance of providing recreation for the youth cannot be overemphasised. This buttresses an adage which says an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

Only a fool can disagree with me that organised team games like football teach character and it is important for the youth to participate in these games.

It is a fact that most children in rural areas have no recreation centres because government policies sideline their interests.

The only recreation the youth at Chankhanga had was playing football since all the recreational parks are non-existent. Therefore, it was unheard of for the municipality to sell their only playground to business persons.

This madness of selling playgrounds did not only happen at Kasungu Municipal Council as even in Blantyre there are no more playgrounds for children.

They were sold to churches and businessmen long time ago and most township children have nowhere to go for recreation. Instead they spend most of their time on drugs.

Examples are numerous: St Pius, Chilomoni and Zingwangwa are just a few of the many primary schools whose playgrounds vanished.

When you have a government which neglects the needs of children, the only remedy to make it understand is to protest.

The government needs to know that children’s bonds are improved by the sharing of leisure time.

Children that recreate together tend to be closer, more cohesive and improve their chances of staying together.

It is, therefore, unreasonable for some passive sport on-lookers to destroy the structures that bring outdoor pleasure for our children for the sake of money.

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