The other day, we were awakened by a phone call from Radio Phoenix – one of the nation’s premier radio stations. The reporter was soliciting our opinion on various political parties’ positions on street kids as the nation gears up for the polls in a couple of weeks.
Do these political parties even have a position on street kids in the first place? If so, how come they haven’t already unveiled their plans? Unfortunately, most if not all political parties, are inauspiciously mute on street kids when the issue is supposed to feature prominently on the campaign agenda! Why this hypothesis?
Lest we forget, those we keep referring to as street kids are fast transitioning into adulthood. In due course, they will no longer have the nerve to keep pestering us for alms or indeed continue eating from junkyards!
Left with zero options, you’ll soon see them graduating into hardcore criminals or bandits if they haven’t already done so. As a matter of fact, these are the kind of individuals we see breaking into our homes or businesses and indeed constantly harassing innocent citizens at bus stations and markets while camouflaged as party cadres!
Well….they’ve even taken their delinquency to a new level and assumed lofty titles as commanders. You see them clad in military fatigues and flaunting sophisticated weaponry while those in authority look the other way. It’s just a matter of time before these individuals start mobilizing their own ‘armies’ to unleash terror and havoc in our communities if they aren’t already doing so.
What do we make of the latest burst at a hideout in Lusaka where DEC has brought in individuals found in possession of drugs and offensive weapons among other things? These are undoubtedly some of the graduates from the streets.
One of our grave mistakes is allowing such individuals to come close proximity with those in authority! This has made them to become big-headed knowing that once they get arrested, it’s just a matter of someone up there ordering the police to let them off the hook.
At the end of the day, we are not only churning out but fast nurturing monsters whom we are going to have trouble reigning in.
To our political parties, it’s never too late! Cut off the ties with those criminals. Start elucidating your stimulus packages to address this conundrum once and for all.
Instead of randomly rounding up street kids and carting them off to ZNS training facilities and offloading them right back onto the streets to begin life anew without the means to do so, the country deserves to know what each political party is going to do differently.