By Vincent Gunde
An unknown good samaritan, a watchman at Kaphatenga trading centre in Salima has rescued a 17 year old boy, Zakeyo Nkhoma from trafficking after he opened a high brick wall fence door to let him ran away into safety.
The boy is said to have been living in bad terms with his in- law, Mrs Eliza Joshwa in Mchinji when in most of the time his uncle was away, he was being denied access to food a development making him not to forget his orphanhood.
On 31 December, 2018, the boy was approached by two men one of them known by the name of Innocent to be employed in town as a garden boy.
He and his uncle, Mr. Sydney Mphanda of Msalaza village in the area of T/A Tembwe in Mchinji saw this news as a good development for greener pastures in town.
Speaking in an interview with Smash after walking on foot for three days from Salima to Lilongwe, in Area 25 B while on his way to Mchinji, Zakeyo first started by narrating how he was found in a foreign land.
” I was told and convinced that they will buy new clothes in town. My uncle gave me okay and we started off the journey from my village, travelling in a tinted vehicle on 31 December, 2018″, Narrated Zakeyo.
Zakeyo said the three stopped at Msundwe trading centre where they bought him some food from an open restaurant commonly known by the name Chakulamba at K500.
He said they arrived at the final destination where the watchman opened the door for the vehicle to enter thinking that he was in town but surprisingly after asking the watchman where he was at that time, he was told that he was at Kaphatenga in Salima.
The boy said three days gone without seeing the men who picked him from his home village in Mchinji and was not told of the he was there for.
“For three days, nobody gave me food to eat, except for the watchman who had to take part of his food and share it to me at noon and evening” he said.
Zakeyo said the watchman told him that the place where he was, was not safe as some of the boys and girls of his age range are being sent sent to Mozambique to work in farms for no pay.
” The watchman told him to run away at night after narrating to me that two days ago, he let a young girl out to run away saying the owner of the building was by then at Bembeke in Dedza on a trafficking mission”, said Zakeyo.
The boy said the watchman opened the door for him at around 7 P.M telling him to spend a night with the business people at Kamuzu road in Salima and early in the morning, set off his journey to Mchinji while following the Salima- Lilongwe road with emphasis of only asking women and girls and not men to give him the proper direction to his home.
He said while walking along the road, he was chased by Gulewamkulu to a distance and in the process, developed a deep cut on his face and the left hand claiming that he was a Ngoni a development which made people all the way to suspecting him of being a thief or a mad person.
While In Area 25B in Lilongwe, Zakeyo spent a night in the house of Kanthepa area Block leader after some women whom he met on the road told him to go to Kanengo police station for a help.
He said at the police station he was again mistakenly identified as a mad person and thief when he failed to respond to some of the questions being asked by two men in uniform leading to someone there slapping hard on his head and told him to come the next day during working hours since the day was Sunday.
On Monday 7 January, 2019, the area Block leader of Kanthepa location in Area 25B tried very hard to go with him to Kanengo police station to have his statement recorded, but the boy refused left and right remembering the memories of Sunday, 7 January, 2019 slappings which made the Block leader with no option but giving him K1000 cash while on their way to the police station to assist him on his journey to Mchinji after he told him that he will stop at Kagwa woyera parish in Area 49, Lilongwe, claiming that there’s a Catholic sister from her home village in Mchinji for further assistance.
Zakeyo Nkhoma claims to be a member of Seventh Day Adventist whose congregation meet at a school at Gilime in Mchinji under the stewardship of pastor Yakobe.
He lost both parents three years ago and has been living with his uncle Mr. Sydney Mphanda at Msalaza village in the area of Traditional Authority Tembwe in Mchinji.