The Mangochi pub phone theft racket


Thanks to the wisdom of one of the Crew’s members’ grandparent, we, of the Crew, recently assisted in exposing a cell-phone stealing racket at a Mangochi bar.

As usual, the Crew was having a nice time at one of the popular joints in the Lakeshore district. Courtesy of one Biblical John, whose name is spelt and pronounced in the vernacular, we were enjoying the breeze outside the pub, while chewing beef and fish snack this friend of ours had bought in their plentiful.

“Koma Mangochi ndi dilu, shaaa! Ndalama sizitha kuno?”Remarked ‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M, puzzling the rest of us by drifting away from his usual religious tone, going blatant on the extreme opposite.


It is not the talk that puzzled us but the fact that, as he was speaking, he was pointing at some glittering objects straying on the waist of some night queen, obviously being deliberately exposed.

“Koma ndiye Asiyatuyo mwamuyang’anatu, mjomba, mutchonatu kuno [you seem to have a special interest in my friend Asiyatu, I will not be surprised if you fail to go back to wherever you have come from,” commented another night queen, inviting herself to where we were sitting.

As the drinking went on, one by one of our members showed intense signs of being intoxicated. No one realised that Joe had slipped out of our sight. Maybe those who might have known that he was not around felt Joe, being Joe, had gone for the social rituals he is famous for.


It was only after thirty minutes of his missing that we saw Asiyatu coming and shouting on top of her voice.

“Anzanu aja ndi a choncho? Mpaka eti kunena kuti andilodza? Olakwa ndi baraman, kundinamizira kuba foni ine?” [What’s long with your friend? Up to the extent of saying he is going to bewitch me? Why? Of course the barman went a mile too much by alleging it was me who stole the phone!”

We all exchanged looks; the lady was speaking in parables maybe. We could not connect what Joe had done or what the lady had done to the extent of threatening to bewitch her.

As ‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M was about to speak, we saw Joe approaching us, wearing a very stern face.

“These night queens of Mangochi are real thieves, and they thought they could steal something from me. They should realise that not all grandfathers are stupid, some clever ones teach their grandchildren a trick or two that are worth showcasing,” he said.

And we leant the lady in question had stolen a state-of-the-art mobile phone from Joe. Other than resorting to go to police as per the advice of the joint’s manager, Joe went local; he turned traditional.

“I told the DJ to stop playing music and announced loudly in the bar that by 10am the following day, the owners of the bar should expect to have a funeral as someone would lose a life for stealing a phone…and the person would die naturally. And, after sometime, the manager pressed me to go to police. However, halfway before that destination, an almost brand new vehicle pulled by, pleading that no one should die because the phone was with them, in the car; they actually knelt that the magical spell should not be administered on the lady,” narrated Joe.

And, it was Asiyatu’s friend who surprised us more: “So the phone racket is exposed? Thanks Joe, we should have many Joes. I once told Asiyatu that she will one day pay dearly for being used by those useless phone thieves of Mangochi, who dress well and behave like rich guys yet they rob us of business opportunities because men don’t patronise some of these pubs for fear of losing phones.

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