Schools collapse as stadiums rise

On Thursday a learner died while two others sustained various degrees of injuries after being hit by a collapsing classroom wall at Fumbi Primary School in Mwanza. Last year, learners also died in Zomba after a school wall fell on them.

My deepest condolences to the family of Levison Enock. I can’t begin to imagine the pain the parents are going through. No parent sends their child to school to die. Parents send their children to school to immerse in wells of knowledge. Schools are supposed to be the safest places where children can go learn and participate in extra-curricular activities.

It is unfortunate that in Malawi, schools are slowly becoming danger zones, where children go and come back in coffins. Most schools in Malawi are death-traps.

While Levison was probably breathing his last in Mwanza, the people that his parents sent to represent them in Parliament, were passing the K1.7 trillion 2019/20 National budget in which one of the votes passed is for building of two stadiums for privately owned football clubs—Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers. What a shame!

Politicians on both sides of the august House do not deserve to be called representatives. They do not represent the interests of the public, but their own. They are too preoccupied with filling up their bellies. How do you live with yourself knowing that you, as a representative, could have avoided the misuse of public funds? How do you sleep at night knowing that some parents had to bury their seven-year-old child just because someone stole the money meant to build a good school block?

Do you pat yourselves at the back at the end of the day, knowing that you as a representative of the people has had a hand in killing the future of Levison and that of his parents?

How can a whole government prioritise building stadiums for profit-making private entities while neglecting public institutions such as schools? The K1.6 billion allocated to Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers would have been used in reinforcing or better yet, building a new school than the one that has killed Levison .

This madness of erecting private stadiums should have been stopped. These two teams, I repeat, would have built stadiums in all the major cities if they wanted. Malawians should not be made to fund and cover up the two teams’ financial mismanagement and mediocrity. Malawians expect their taxes to be used in a prudent manner and for the good of Malawians. Building schools is one of them.

At the rate this DPP-led government is going, one day Malawians will wake up to find that the only buildings standing are stadiums. How can government let schools collapse while it is busy erecting stadiums? Mr. President, is everything alright? n

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