On Thursday, he lost one eye. On Monday, doctors at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre will hammer the final nail on Maida Fedsonâ€™s sight when they remove his remaining eye.
It is a fate he was least prepared to face, but an attack by thugs saw his world tumbling down. Now he will be blind.
It was a day like any other on June 18. Fedson, having been laid off by his employer, was running up and down the city trying to find another job. He had to, since living alone in Mbayani Township requires a job to pay the bills.
Fedson was invited by a friend in Machinjiri who had a job opening.
Luck was not on his side as the friend was not at home and as Fedson started off back home, he was delayed on the way and by 7pm he was approaching Chirimba Bridge where it all started and ended for him.
“I saw two men, I passed one and as I approached the other one, the one I had passed grabbed me from behind and squashed my throat so that I shouldnâ€™t shout. The other man then flung his machetes which landed on my head and opened me up,” narrated Fedson, sitting on his hospital bed surrounded by family and sympathisers while the whole ward was quiet, listening too and interjecting with gasps when he touched on the graphic part of his story.
He said the other thug then sliced a knife across his face, cutting across the eyes like the equator, slicing both his eyes open. By then, he had found space to shout and alerted a guard who came rushing to the scene, scaring the assailants away.
Fedson was left with pangs of pain. He does not understand why he was attacked because the assailants did not take anything material from him apart from his sight.
“At that moment, I knew my lights had gone off, that I would never see again,” he said.
The guard took him to Chirimba Police where, he said, the officers started bullying him instead of helping him.
“They said I had been attacked while trying to sleep with another manâ€™s wife. They said I had been thieving. They started interrogating me despite my pain; they asked me to list all my friends which I did promptly.
“They sent me to the minibus stage with a police report and thatâ€™s all they did for me. I had to use my own money and thanks to the kindness of the minibus conductor I was escorted to Queens (QECH),” he said.
Four days passed before Fedsonâ€™s relatives knew about the attack. It had to take fellow patients to alert them, something that infuriated Lickson Mangani, the nephew who stormed Chirimba Police to query the copsâ€™ behaviour.
“No statement was taken from Maida. They mocked him, they didnâ€™t care to take him to the hospital. They gave him a police report, but when I went there they all denied until I showed them the report they gave Maida,” said an angry Mangani.
The police report, a bloody copy of which Nation on Sunday has seen, has a Chirimba Police stamp, signed by a Jinazale on June 18, 2012.
But Blantyre Police assistant public relations officer, Lameck Yona Thembachako, said Chirimba Police has no vehicle and could not take Fedson to the hospital.
On officers mocking Fedson, he said the police must have had their reasons for doing so because they cannot mock someone who is seeking their help.
Thembachako said when people go to hospital they should return to police to have their statements taken.
Mangani said Chirimba Police told him that investigations into the matter would be difficult because the attackers did not steal anything from Fedson.
“After they remove the other eye, we are thinking of sending him back to the village in Salima where his mother and brothers are,” he said.