Our reporter Paida Mpaso seeks Kapito’s views on the lack of recreational facilities in towns and cities
Q 1.There is a general outcry that almost all towns and cities in the country lack recreational facilities. What is your reaction?
A. 1The challenge that Malawians have is the general understanding of recreational parks and how they contribute to the development of a country, city or council. The benefits of having recreational parks outweigh the cost of managing them by far. Unfortunately for Malawi, we have entrusted management of the councils and parks [in the hands of people] who lack basic understanding of what makes a city or council; these are people that are generally brought up in primitive areas where issues of recreational parks are alien, and [as a result] they have failed to domesticate them in the planning and management of the cities they manage. But this applies also to the general public where they are not educated or sensitised on why we have parks and what they represent to consumers.
Q2Some parks have become so dangerous that people are afraid to use them. How can government address this problem?
A2There is need for a holistic approach on how parks can be managed and used in Malawi; the failure or rather collapse of security is one area where the parks will remain hell where no one wants to go to, but we can’t always rely on the mainstream police service in these parks; the city councils need to have their own [security personnel] to ensure that such places are secure.
Q3Do you think government prioritises these issues?
A3The current crop of leaders is worrisome and we have not heard of these issues either in their manifestos or their daily rants and lies; its either they don’t understand or they are also coming from the very primitive backgrounds…The first thing that needs to be done in Malawi is the way we recruit people to manage our councils; if you recall, most of these parks were working well when we had councillors with mixed backgrounds…there was a lot of improvement in our parks.
Q4Has Cama made any effort to engage government or any other institution to rescue our recreational parks?
A4None, given the current political environment where people only want to go into government without an idea of what they want to do when elected.