We need not another battle


There must be something very fundamentally wrong with us, Malawians. I do not know whether we were actually programmed to always display unruly behaviour but it is just too much. I am seething with rage over the barbaric acts that were displayed not so long ago by some of our fellow citizens (returnees) coming from South Africa in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19. The pictures that we witnessed from Mapanga Prison Training College in Blantyre were not pleasant and said just how rotten some people are.

Here is a country whose government is fighting hard to ensure that the citizenry is protected from Covid-19 and yet some of the very people it is trying to protect are busy trying to create another battle by cooking up a storm.

Speaking of the Covid-19 battle, let me salute the gallant sons and daughters in the medical field that are working hard, day and night, desperately trying to save lives of our loved ones. These are our unsung heroes. I can tell you, if you have not been to the hospitals yet, the situation has been quite dire.


Before my dad, William Andrew Dakalira (a one-of-a-kind manager to some and prolific teacher to many) breathed his last on January 15, 2021 I happened to have been with him at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in the course of that week and, as I glanced around in the Short- Stay ward that Tuesday, there were patients both in and out of the Ward. Some were literally being treated within the corridors as there was inadequate space inside. The picture was just too much to bear. If only we realised how critical the situation is in hospitals, we certainly would not be taking for granted messages being churned out by public officials encouraging each one of us to mask up, wash hands regularly and sanitise.

I would not want to comment much about the scenario in the Covid-19 isolation centres since those are a no-go zone for mere mortals, including guardians. If only there was a way that people could be allowed to have a peek inside the facilities (I know how huge a risk this is), then certainly we would not be taking our lives for granted as we have been doing.

I equally wish to commend the effort by some individuals of goodwill who embarked on crowd-funding for the Covid-19 fight. They have just gone to show us that it is possible for everyone to pitch in the little they have and make a difference. That is not all; their transparency is also far much better than what we are accustomed to in public institutions. In times like these, we all need to hold hands and do whatever we can because government cannot do all the work alone.


In fact, the crowd-funding effort by these sons and daughters of the soil is what triggered some corporate entities to start pouring in support, after being called out through social media by some concerned citizens. I am hoping that over the next few weeks, we will see more and more companies coming in to aid the Covid-19 fight.

It is also my hope and prayer that in the additional centres that have been set-up across the country by the Ministry of Health, following orders by President Lazarus Chakwera, there will be a steady flow of medical supplies, especially oxygen cylinders with actual oxygen in them so that a lot of lives can be saved.

Now, amidst all of this, it was quite surprising to see minibus drivers, conductors and touts causing chaos on our streets by demanding that either they revert to the four-per-seat carrying capacity of their vehicles or government reduces fuel prices. Much as we know that the times are hard in the face of the pandemic, but I think it would be foolhardy to let people cram in minibuses when we are equally concerned about the capacity of our hospitals to handle Covid-19 cases. There must be a proper way through which the government and minibus operators can reach a win-win situation without necessarily inconveniencing the ordinary man but most importantly, putting him in harm’s way by insisting that those in the passenger transport service carry four people per seat and not the stipulated two-per-seat to maintain social distance. If we lose lives after getting Covid-19 once crammed in your buses, will you still have a business to operate without customers? Let us all be reasonable when making demands in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fighting amongst ourselves will not, in any way, do any justice to our cause of fighting the pandemic and the sooner people realised that the better it will be for everyone. We need not another battle as our hands are already full.

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