Magistrate condemns headteacher for blocking communities from seeking shelter during floods


By Synd Kalimbuka

First Grade Magistrate court in Phalombe has condemned headteacher for Nakamba primary school in Mulanje for blocking communities from accessing shelter at the school during floods.

In 2019, the headteacher of the school told communities at Chakhuta trading centre at Phulanya village TA Ndanga in Mulanje district to stop using the school blocks as shelters when floods occur saying  they should find another evacuation centre.

This forced some communities to dig the Zomba-Phalombe Chitakale road to make a passage for the water which flooded the villagedue to heavy rains occurred on January 14, 2020.

Some community members were arrested following this road damage and the judgement was delivered on March 4, 2021 where 8 out of 9 were acquited by the court.

Reading the judgement which took almost an hour at Chiringa magistrate court, First Grade Magistrate Enock Malula condemned the headteacher for Nakamba primary school for denying Community members to use the school as a shelter during disaster.

Malula said the accused persons damaged the road because of the conduct of the headteacher to block community members from hiding at the school when floods occur.

“The school is a public area not personal premise for someone to be preventing other people to use as a shelter,” reads part of the judgement.

Dalitso Mitumba whom court convicted and gave a 10 months suspended sentence on malicious damage earlier told the court that he decided to damage the road to prevent water to flood of their homes because the communities had nowhere to hide as headteacher told them not to hide in the nearby school block when floods occur.

Nakamba primary school is just less than a kilometre from where this community face flooded water every year.