Unreliable Watchmen

By Milinga Rajabu

Certain watchmen at Manduba’s place play with the job that they have. They do not really know what it means to have a job in the Dzaleka refugee camp. Many people are running up and down to look for jobs and they end up giving up because there are no jobs but some people also play with the jobs that they have. Manduba is a man who we can consider to be rich in the Dzaleka refugee camp. He has a bar, restaurant, and owns ten thousand chickens that lay eggs for sale. He supplies eggs at Shoprite in the capital city, Lilongwe every week. He decided to put some people to watch his chickens to avoid thieves from stealing.


I went to buy eggs a certain evening at Manduba’s place and I found that he was not around and it was the security guards who were there. I asked them where their boss was and they told me that he did not work on that day. I asked them if it was possible for me to buy one tray of eggs and they accepted. I gave them 4500 Malawian Kwacha. Surprisingly, I was supposed to get a tray that has 30 eggs in it but I saw 25 eggs. I told them that I cannot buy a tray which is not full. They insisted that I go with that and I should come back to get the 5 remaining eggs the next day.


I felt suspicious because normally, they could tell me that I should come the next day when their boss is around since they are not allowed to sell anything when their boss is not around. I did not want to argue with them and I took the eggs and I told them that I would be back the next day. When leaving, I saw two dead chickens that looked like they were killed by a knife and ready to be cooked. In my mind, I said that it is not possible that the chickens died on their own. I just went but I was really curious to know whether their boss was aware of it.


When I came the next day, I found the same guards and they told me that the eggs were not ready. I told them that I wanted to speak to their boss and they refused me entry. I called the number that was on the billboard outside and they allowed me to enter. One of the guards whispered to me that I should not say that I took eggs yesterday. I refused to listen to him and went straight to their boss. I told him that I was coming to collect my remaining eggs and he told me that he was not told anything. He told me that the guards are not supposed to sell anything in his absence. I could not let the thieves go away because my mind told me that it was not their first time and as a concerned citizen, I had to tell the truth. It is really painful to leave your properties with people thinking that they are safe and end up finding another story on the ground.


After Manduba learned that his watchmen were untrustworthy, he decided to fire them right away. He decided to tell his little brother to look for other watchmen that would replace them the same day. This was so difficult for him since finding trustworthy watchmen in a day is not simple. He was lucky that his little brother had in mind some watchmen who were jobless and he employed two of them. I hope the ones he employed  will be faithful to him since I haven’t reached at Manduba’s place for a while. Otherwise, his business will fall down as the time goes.

1 July, 2023