Malawi24 has established that 12 Malawians who are homeless are seeking refuge in Mzuzu bus depot.
The people whose ages range from 20 to about 35 have nowhere to stay and have confided in our reporter that Mzuzu bus depot is their home.
One of the men who is popularly known as Amboba told this publication that he has been living in the depot for close to four years.
“I came here to look for some piecework, but I couldn’t find any. What forced me to be living here was that I had no relative here in Mzuzu and I had no money to take me back home,” he said.
He added that he found other people already living in the depot and they told him that everything was possible and that he would make it through being a conductor in the depot.
“I found people like Nganga and Nyanganyanga, who encouraged me to persevere and be a man enough by living in the depot.
“We survive by selling sweets and being bus conductors. We don’t worry about shelter because we already sleep here,” he said.
The same story is shared by his colleagues who confided to this reporter that their life is all about hustling to find money that can keep them going.
To most of them, possibilities of living a productive life are almost ruined by realities of the same life.
Our reporter found that the men do not even think about family life because the little they earn from the depot enable them to enjoy sexual pleasure in drinking joints.
“Hustlers don’t sleep like dogs, all we think is hustling and spending money at night in different drinking halls. Life is what satisfies us,” said one homeless man.
But Mzuzu based Social commentator Kingsley Simbi described their living in the depot as a security threat and at the same time pathetic.
He said people like them are easily hired by thugs for criminal activities because all they need is money that can afford them a bottle of beer.
“We heard that time that thugs who butchered people in Chibavi during a solidarity rally of MCP, PP and AFORD, were hired from the depot. It’s easy to use idle people like them, who don’t necessarily have serious sources of money,” he said.
He added: “It is worrisome to be hearing stories of some people flocking from their villages to town to search for jobs, only to become homeless, idle people living in social services like a depot.”
Recently, OXFAM predicted that about 9 million Malawians will live in the worst poverty and the situation will lead to urbanisation.
Poverty will hit hard in the rural areas who will look for greener pastures in urban areas where unfortunately the pasture seem to have equally dried up.
Authorities from Mzuzu City Council who run the depot said they were not aware that the depot has been turned into a dwelling place for some people.
When we tried to touch base with authorities from the police, efforts proved futile.