Kudos should, today, go to the Malawi Police Service.
Their officers have just accomplished some commendable job at the Central Medical Stores (CMS) offices in Blantyre.
Reports from senior police officers have it that two newly recruits- brave, dedicated and happy to honour the calls of their noble job- were posted to CMS offices in Blantyre.
Make no mistake about it; these 'boys' were assigned to pass the darkness away by way of that task officially christened 'night-shift'.
Of course, they had guns. Two human beings, with two guns.
Two ambitious human beings, with too loaded guns.
Ready for action.
Well, on this Wednesday night, some five out-of-plans drug thieves decided to steal drugs from the good-old, life-saving CMS.
It was a barbaric act, so to speak; five able-bodied men deciding to steal medicine from our depleted drug banks!
For starters, Malawi has been going through a crisis of sorts. The country's vulnerable population (the resource poor) has been living on the edge of death due to shortage of essential drugs in public hospitals.
The drugs are there, of course, but only in pharmacies and private hospitals.
And, against this back ground, five dishonourable men decide to steal drugs and whatever they had in mind- and, in so doing- send a thousand more humans-no-longer-being to those six feet down-holes that swallow weak human beings.
The two policemen, fresh from school at Limbe Police Training School, or Ntakataka, were as alert as new blood can be. They saw the thieves.
President Bingu wa Mutharika: Chancellor of the University of Malawi and Commander-in-Chief of the Malawi Defense Forces
Firstly, they saw the shadows of the five thieves, as they jumped over the brick wall.
The thieves, five useless thieves, thought they were clever. But they met their match in these newly-recruited, well-trained and disciplined police officers.
After all, these police officers wanted to put in practice their shooting skills. They, surely, must have been tired of shooting 'innocent' colourless-walls at Limbe Police Training School and institutions of its like.
There, at the training school, they could point their shot-guns at innocent, unsuspecting walls, walls worn out by the persistent struggle of bullets to get through their imaginary 'chests'. In their (officers') heart, always, they took the walls for human beings. Criminal-minded human beings, for that matter!
Here, at the CMS this Wednesday night, was the two-recruits' opportunity to experiment with human fresh and blood. Crooked human fresh and blood.
Five crooked human fresh and five crooked human blood!
They (officers out to experiment on human beings what was suffered by innocent walls) got their wishes granted.
Much the same way as the five thieves got their worst fears lived in real life!
The five crooked thieves climbed the CMS wall, not knowing that they had been spotted by alert police officers.
They, having climbed over the wall, started off for one of the doors. It was in the act of beating one of the doors into submission that they saw chances of getting to the next day disappear. At least, as it happened in the end, for the two of them.
But the others, still, are not safe. Their names, whereabouts, life's walk, have been revealed by one of the people who felt from two sharp bullets, what his fears always feared!
The two policemen- new recruits, for that matter- devised a plan. They agreed that one should take advantage of the cover of darkness and follow the thieves; and that, once he got close enough to the five crooked men, he should sprout like a volcano touring new territory by surprising its residents.
That he did, as the police officer who has now inserted four fast bullets in two human bodies pointed his gun at the two unsuspecting human beings- beings who thought they were more clever than the law.
Well, the policeman who covered himself with camouflage and darkness sprouted from the darkness and came into the limelight (oh, I mean, bub-light).
The five thieves (don't tell me that they are 'suspects'. These are thieves, plunderers and good-for-nothing human beings. Simply out here to wreck lives.) saw the policeman and started running.
They never knew they were running into gun shots. That they had taken the direction of a ready gun, a gun pointed at them.
Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom! The alert policeman shot.
He 'planted' four bullets into the two thieves!
In fact, he 'donated' two bullets into the body of each of the 'unfortunate' thieves.
One died immediately. The other, still unsure that he will safely get there (to good health), was caught alive, breeding like a chicken that has just survived a Tiger attack!
He was at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. He might be dead by now.
Dead? Yes, every time he breathed out, he breathed both air and blood.
So, as the thief-who-survived breathed, blood would come oozing out. As if blood is oxygen. As if he had lots of blood.
Why a waste of blood when Malawi needs more blood for the citizens who totter on the brink of death. Out of the 80,000 units of blood the country requires annually, it hardly meets half of it.
In 2010, for example, the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service only collected 42,000 units of blood.
During a 'Blood Donation Week' in November, the blood collector also missed out on its 10, 000 units of blood target as it got roughly 5000.
Malawi is in a blood crisis.
Malawi is facing a fuel crisis.
Malawi is bathing in a forex reserves' crisis.
Malawi is facing a flight crisis following the 'fall' of Air Malawi. With two of its three 'birds' grounded, how can we believe all to be well at Air Malawi?
Against this back ground, especially of blood shortage, a man who headlessly and heartlessly decided to steal from the little medical reserves we have was giving blood to nobody but the air- which air needs no blood because it is people who need blood. But here was this 'guy', cheaply spilling his contaminated, crooked blood!
Chances of his being alive were declining to zero every time he breathed out blood-air instead of carbon dioxide!
The good thing is that Malawi Police Service officers have already done their job; that of interrogating him to get to the bottom of the humanness of the other three thieves who bolted. Yes, the three bolters who still had their eardrums shaken by gun sound.
The 'unfortunate' thief has revealed the identities of his accomplices, and Zachimalawi will make sure that it follows the case on your behalf, and inform you of progress, accordingly. That is, when the long arm of the law catches up with the catch-twenty-twoed three!
Congratulations to the Malawi Police Service. You have saved our drugs and our lives!
Well, the gist of the matter is that the new recruit who did the bullets' depositing has started taking all the glory to himself. He has forgotten that it took the effort- and sacrifice- of the other police officer on duty to accept that he be the 'sacrificial lamb' to go (under the cover of darkness) and surprise the five thieves (one of them is already in Heaven right now, while the other's life could be tottering between doubt and resignation)!
What if the five thieves had arms of their own, and decided to overpower him?
This police officer did a good job, too; a job as well done as the one accomplished by the four-bullets' depositor!
Now, 'Depositor-Four' is flying above the blueless skies with pride.
In fact, senior officers at Nyambadwe Police are calling him every other minute, and patting him on the back!
"Oh, that's work, boy!",one officer told me this is what the officers are saying.
He deserves it, really- depositing four lethal bullets into the blood streams of five soul-less human beings!
That is why other officers are smiling broadly at him.
Actually, some two new recruits told Zachimalawi that they are now green with envy, and are convinced that 'Depositor-Four' will soon be promoted.
What with reports that 'Depositor-Four' has started mocking his colleagues (new recruits) with the chiding that is going like: "Get out you all, have you ever shot a man in your lives. Have you ever killed one? Legally?"
This is a pain in the bile of the other officers, who are already convinced that their friend will be promoted. That their friend will get the promotion he deserves.
Two of the newly-recruits were, actually, discussing their chances of being posted to the Central Medical Stores any time soon.
They, too, want to plant bullets into some unfortunate thieves and claim the glory. And the promotion they will-have deserved, of course.
The exploits of the officer who has now taken all the glory to himself have spurred these young boys into a mood of overzealous commitment.
Some of them, actually, are praying that Malawi should experience another demonstration (bloody or not) come February. They are sure Undule Mwakasungula, chairperson for the Human Rights Consultative Committee, and his friends will line up a new wave of demonstrations in February.
You may not believe it, but it is true that there are police officers who want another round of demonstrations, so that they may make another killing.
Last time, each of the police officers who were on duty on July 20, 2011 received K60, 000 in allowances.
The problem is that, now, police officers are as broke as everyone else, and want new allowances in the 'rings' of K60, 000.
So, police officers are banking on February.
They believe that Civil Society Organizations will be angry enough by then, and lead the masses towards the way of their deaths.
It is always the ordinary man and woman that dies. The organizers always survive, and live more healthy years thereafter.
Theirs is an act of selfishness.
They forget that they don't own this country. They forget that no one- except their uncles and aunts and grandparents, and domestic animals- voted them into human rights activists! In fact, they are there just to make money, and nurture their bloated stomachs.
Chances are that these misguided Civil Society leaders have 'discovered' their real value and position in Malawian society (including that they over-rate themselves and are, in fact, cheap material which, when compiled into a book of tragedy, can sell not more than 10 copies at 1 Tambala)and will not take this nation to its death again come February or whatever year.
So, let our policemen and women not pray for demonstrations. Let them concentrate on their role of enforcing the law. The laws applicable to Malawi.
Let them continue to arrest women who abort. It doesn't matter whether a girl of 11 years old was forced into sex by her father, and gets pregnant. Once the girl decides to abort the 'shame' that could follow her the rest of her life, the Malawi Police Service should, as it has done for centuries, and continues to do, pounce on her. Always pouncing on the woman, and not the man responsible.
If a girl, 14 years-old, falls pregnant two months before going for that rare scholarship in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania or Zimbabwe, and decides to terminate the pregnancy because it is a hill in her way towards the future- arrest her as you do!
If a 16 year-old girl, HIV positive and on ARVs, gets pregnant following a one-night stint in search of money-for-one day, and decides- in the best interest of the child, who stands to become less unfortunate and live the better part of her life without a mother- to part ways with the kid-not-yet-being- arrest her as you do!
That is law enforcement to you. Doing justice to one, at the expense of the other.
But the police officers who do the job should not be blamed. They are simply enforcing the law.
However, it must be noted that 'enforcing the law' means consolidating peace!
Of course, our policemen over-work. Sometimes they have their patience tested to the limits.
Take, for instance, the case of University of Malawi students. Let's look not at the Malawi Polytechnic, Bunda College of Agriculture, College of Medicine, among the constituent colleges of the University of Malawi.
Let us talk of Chancellor College in Zomba, instead.
This year (2011) will go down in history as one of the craziest in Malawi's existence. A year when a sitting Inspector General of Police, Peter Mukhito, showed how, sometimes, men in uniform can get so confused and get into alien territory- territory that fears no gun or electric shock or death: Education.
When Mukhito myopically summoned Chancellor College Political Science Associate Lecturer, Blessings Chinsinga, for questioning- for the lamest of all excuses: why, Mukhito in his over-rated head, thought, did Chinsinga allude to the Egyptian revolution when giving a lecture on 'incentives' that bring the masses to the streets?- he did not know that he was setting in motion, not only a very bad precedent, but a wave of strikes that spread from Chanco (as Chancellor College is popularly known) corridors to those of the Malawi Polytechnic- another constituent college of the University of Malawi.
Of course, Polytechnic lecturers later went back to class. For Chanco, it was a long affair, though it still ended one-and-a-half months ago when President Bingu wa Mutharika (architect of all these problems) picked up his senses from the dustbin he had deposited them and announced that he had 'pardoned' the four lecturers (Jessie Kabwila-Kapasula, Blessings Chinsinga, Franz Amin, and Gaston Kamchedzera) unreservedly and "unconditionally".
That's how presidents who have no children at the university behave. They are happy, and too willing, to let children of other parents suffer while they (these selfish leaders) eat the days and nights away. The way they 'eat' the days and nights away is, in itself, the best manifestation of selfishness.
They 'eat' the days away by "dilution". They dilute the nation's suffering in sumptuous meals and drinks, unattached by the plight of the 47 per cent (according to the National Statistical Office) who live in ultra-poverty.
They drink, until their stomachs swell so badly you would think it was an over-sized bullet proof, or a penguin. Real penguin.
During this 'troublesome' time' in Malawi's brief existence (47 years being not such a long time), police officers 'suffered' at the hands of Chanco students.
As recently as two months ago, Chanco students were heading to the Zomba District Commissioner's office to deliver a petition over delays to reopen their institution.
After all, Chanco is the institution- when it comes to education in Malawi. Everyone dreams of going to Chanco, the country's biggest constituent college of the University of Malawi.
There, in the corridors of Chanco, dreams are met.
But here was a President- as former President Bakili Muluzi used to say: "In the name of Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika"! Zachimalawi says 'President Bingu wa Mutharika, and not "In the name of Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika") who was destroying students' dreams in day light, and he passed his days away 'peacefully' in the gameless forest at Sanjika, and the over-sized, ghosts'infested New State House.
Students and people of good will got tired of this Presidential; display of selfishness and impunity and, through common sense, saw it fit to deliver a petition to the equally-powerless, in the face-of-the-stubborn President, District Commissioner for Zomba.
Of course, when the President has set his eyes on 'evil', nobody gets his eyes off it. Here, President Mutharika had set his eyes at destroying the future of innocent students who, as fate and luck would have it, found themselves at the prestigious Chanco when the wrong 'guy' was in charge. A 'guy' who happened to be the Chancellor of the University of Malawi. He still is, by virtue of being Malawi's president.
Now, during this petition expedition, as usual, police officers were there to play the escort game.
It ended up to be one of the longest journey police officers walked in 2011. It was really painful to some of them, those poor planners who became part of the escort team on an empty stomach (or, having eaten so little that morning!). But the journey to the DC's office was really tiresome because it took seven hours.
One of the students would stop. and feign illness. The rest, feigning concern, would then stop for one hour or so, waiting for the fellow student to 'get better' from whatever non-existent sickness it was!
After a while, the university student would rise, and inform the rest that he was "now feeling better". The journey, the certain but uncertain journey, would continue for three minutes, or so- only for one other student (this time female, if the other time it was a male learner) to sleep on the tarred road, touching her stomach.
"I am pregnant", she will scream, calling the rest of the petitioners to attention!
Of course, without medication or water or what, the she-sleeper would wake up, and tell her friends (that crew on a slow mission) to go on with the journey.
It would go like this for hours on end.
The police, meanwhile, were just there, looking.
Two of the new recruits told me on Wednesday this actually happened to them. They said all they wanted to do to the students was "beat them up. Eish, those guys, they make you angry beyond limits".
So, whereas some police officers want another round of demonstrations to cash on (K60, 000 being so high a mountain-pile of money to them), almost all of them are praying:
"Oh, Lord. Let the demonstrations come!"
"Oh, Lord. But let them not be another Chancellor College petition-delivery spectacle!"
"Oh, Lord: Let them come in January- when our pockets are dry!"
Pray as you may- police officers- but, today, the day is yours! Congratulations are in order.
You have knocked some Central Medical Stores thieves dead!