SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
“LIFE without Dickson is not easy. He was our sole breadwinner and his death has left an emptiness that is hard to fill in the family,” a member of the family of slain Dickson Mwanza has lamented.
Dickson, 33, a father of four, is the mechanic who was recently shot dead in Lusaka by a jilted police constable, Jackson Mwanza, who went on a deadly shooting spree over his girlfriend.
His death has robbed the extended family of their main benefactor.
The “devastated” family of the murder victim is now appealing for help to look after the four orphans he has left.
Speaking when a Sun crew visited the parents and children of late Dickson in Lusaka’s Mtendere Township yesterday, Febby Mwanza, who is the mother of the dead mechanic, complained that the death of her son had left an emptiness that was hard to fill in the family.
Mrs Mwanza, 67, flanked by her aged sick husband, Samson Mwanza, and children of late Dickson, emotionally told the Sun it was difficult for the family to recover from the anguish of losing someone who had meant everything to them.
She said losing a loved one was always a tragedy, but recovering from such a blow could be even more difficult to overcome if the person was the family’s breadwinner.
Mrs Mwanza, who spoke in Cinyanja language, appealed to the Government and well-wishers for financial support to enable the family to look after the four children and take them to school.
“Infa ya Dickson yaleta mavuto mu banja. Monga mwaonela, amudala [my husband] niodwala, elo sibasebenza. Ine futi sinisebenza, so banatipayila mwana amene enzo tisunga,” Mrs Mwanza said.
Loosely translated she was lamenting that she and her ailing husband were both unemployed and that death had taken away their breadwinner.
“Sinigona usiku onse namaganizo kucokela pamene Dickson anamupaila cifukwa siniziba amene azatisunga noliila zofunikila bana ku school apa manje. So pempo yanga niyakuti boma olo bantu balibonse kutithandizila bana bamasiye aba,” Mrs Mwanza said.
She has not been sleeping because she has been thinking about who will look after the family and take Dickson’s children, who are now orphans, to school. She is appealing to the Government and other well-wishers to come to the family’s aid.
Mrs Mwanza, however, hopes Government, through Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo, will fulfill its pledge to support the children.
She said during the burial of Dickson, Professor Luo, who spoke through Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa, pledged to support Dickson’s four children aged between two and 14 years.
An emotional Mrs Mwanza said there were also practical issues that were daily reminding the family of his dead son.
“Kufa timafa but not mwamene anafela Dickson, kumupaya monga nikawalala mwana wanga sure! Elo nikaona bana bake aba, niona monga azabwela kuleta bread navakudya vinangu,” she said between sobs.
Her son was killed like a common criminal; every time she looks at the children she starts imagining her son bringing bread.
“I am deeply saddened that my world must continue without him. He was a wonderful, intelligent, deeply feeling human being who went out of his way to help others without forethought,” Mrs Mwanza said.
In a fit of rage Constable Mwanza gunned down two people and left two admitted to hospital with knife and gunshot wounds after allegedly being dumped by the woman he had cohabited with for three years.
According to the family, the late Dickson was not married but had four children from different mothers with the oldest being in Grade Seven.
“Dickson sanali wokwatila koma anasiya bana 4; Sam alina 14 years, Grace alina 10, Ziwase alina 8 elo uyu wa last Kimberly alina 2 years. Anali kufuna kukwatila amaiyi bake aka kamung’ono ka Kimberly,” Mrs Mwanza said.
And one of the mothers of the decease, Vaileti Banda aged 28 years who was found at Mrs Mwanza’s place said she did not know Christine Mulenga, a Chinama college student who was at the centre of the fracas which led to the loss of lives.
Vailet said she only heard of Christine after the shooting of the father of her child.
“Sinimuziba nomuziba uyo mukazi ine. Sininamuonepo elo nakumuona siningamuziwe,” Vailet said.
Meanwhile, Christine Mulenga, a Chainama college student who was at the centre of the fracas that led to loss of lives has vanished.
A check at a house in Lusaka’s Mtendere Township where Christine used to live with her friend found that they had shifted to unknown place and the house occupied by a new tenant.
“We don’t know where they shifted to because we only found the door open in the morning. They shifted at mid-night,” one of the neighbours said.
The auto-shop at Mtendere Sochabe garage where she (Christine) used to work from has also been deserted as the owner had kept it closed since the shooting incident.
Eliya Sakala, a mechanic and brother to late Dickson who was found working at the garage said, “Since my brother was shot dead by that cop just here, the ower of this auto-shop closed it and he has never opened it. When we try to call him, he just say he will come. But it seem he is still scared of what happened”.
Fellow students of Christine at Chinama Health College have also disclosed that Christine has not been coming for lessons ever since her love affair with late Constable Mwanza turned sour.
A student only identified as Bwalya said, “Christine is nowhere to be seen. In fact, she did well to disappear because irate students were going to badly deal with her for causing so many deaths. She is a disgrace, imagine even you mudala having such a sister who causes deaths of some innocent people because of her promiscuity?’