Hezwick Daimoni, nine, seems as bubbly as any energy filled boy of his age. He smiles, plays, looks fit and hardly shows signs that his brain has a bullet lodged in it.
His father Victor Daimoni, bitter like any parent faced with such a predicament would be is as determined as ever to seek justice for his last born child whom he described as having â€œchanged from his former selfâ€ since that fateful night of June 13, 2012 he was hit by a stray bullet.
In an interview on Friday at their home in Manase township, Blantyre, Daimoni said Hezwick experiences memory lapses from time to time; throws tantrums and goes into a frenzy which sometimes offends other people.
Said Daimoni: â€œUsually, he will demand for something which he expects instantly. If he does not get it, he becomes problematic and cries uncontrollably until his wish is granted.
â€œHe has developed bad habits which he did not exhibit prior to his being hit by the bullet. He sometimes loses focus particularly when crossing the road and needs constant supervision on his way to school and back. His life has changed drasticallyâ€.
During the entire interview, the Standard Three pupil at Catholic Institute (CI) clutches his hands, looks up and smiles to one of his sisters sitting next to him. He fidgets and lies on his fatherâ€™s lap while listening to the conversation. Clad in a yellow golf T-Shirt, a cream rosary round his youthful neck, seemingly careless for justice, He picks the remote to raise the television volume.
Clean shaven, his head exposes a long scar on the left, another one is visible a few inches across to the right side and a third one behind the second, all from the two operations that were done in a failed attempt to remove the bullet. He spent 38 days in hospital, 14 of which he was unconscious.
On his left temple is a scar where the bullet entered. According to his father this has made his father see the son as a Hollywood movie actor who never dies, no matter how many times he is shot at.
Daimoni further said Hezwick is repeating his Standard Three class as he was disrupted by the incident. He described the five trips to a Lilongwe hospital for the boyâ€™s scan as painful for the boy and the entire family that has watched his slow healing.
He vividly recalls the night Hezwick was found in a pool of blood following a police stray bullet that entered his house through the roof and hit the sleeping boy. He claimed the police were shooting at suspected criminals in his neighbourhood.
Said Daimoni: â€œWe have endured harassment at the hands of police who not only denied owning a gun of the type of bullet in my sonâ€™s brain, but went further to inquire whether we owned a weapon or may have enemies. They casually handled the matter to the extent of removing the bullet hit portion of the roof and replacing it without our knowledge.
â€œWe were even denied to see the removed part which was done while we stood by Hezwickâ€™s bedside at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. I believe matters would have been made simple if the police admitted to have accidentally hit my boy rather than to play hide and seekâ€.
He said Information and Civic Education Minister Moses Kunkuyu visited the boy in hospital and offered the family K3 000. He further said that Deputy Minister of Health, Halima Daudi, also visited him and offered K10 000. Daimoni allegedly said Halima promised government would assist the boy to seek medical help outside Malawi.
Daimoni, a maize trader, said no assistance has come and he is still waiting. He said he is desperate to know if the bullet can be removed with expert help outside Malawi, and that he will never rest until the boy travels.
â€œI was treated like a foreigner in my own country. Since the police do not want to accept responsibility, I would like to call upon anyone who can assist us. I want a report on the whole incident, including where the removed roof part was taken to,â€ said the father of five.
Southern Region Police spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa said they were yet to establish who actually pulled the trigger that released the bullet now embedded in Hezwickâ€™s head.
He said police were still investigating as it is not known whether it was indeed police or criminals that shot him.
Daudi said she was yet to be furnished with a medical report from Queens before making the final decision.Â