5 Mumbwa orphans in double tragedy
FIVE children in Mumbwa suffered a double tragedy after the landlord evicted them on the same day their father died because he did not want mourning to take place in his house.
The children were forced to live inside a church, the United Church of Zambia, St Mathews where the funeral was shifted along with all the family possessions.
St Mathews congregation were mobilised by the local reverend to shift the funeral and the children because they had nowhere else to go as their surviving relative, an uncle, had no means of helping them and their grandmother is in a village in Kasama and too old to travel to Mumbwa.
The uncle to the children, Bernard Mutale, told the Daily Nation that they pleaded with the landlord to allow the children mourn their father since rent had been paid upto March 19, but this was declined.
“The children and I had nothing and it was the church that took over and did everything. I don’t know what could have happened without the church intervention,” Mr Mutale said.
The congregation mobilised food, transport and a coffin as the family had nothing to fall back on. Their father had been a businessman but did not leave anything.
This was after the church failed to convince the landlord, who is in Kaoma, to allow the children to mourn their parent, having lost their mother a year earlier. The children’s father, Mr Knocks Mutale, died about 04:00 hours on Friday and when informed of the bereavement, the landlord told the children to shift as he could not allow mourning in his house.
Three of the children have since been dispatched to Kasama.
The family belongings have been deposited at the United Church of Zambia where the eldest, a 17-year-old boy, played the organ for the choir.
A church elder told the Daily Nation that it was sad but they had no choice but remove the children from their home and take them to the church vestry.
“We put everything, all their belongings inside the church and that is where we held the funeral,” she said.
She said it was painful because the children were just crying having lost their father and the only place they knew as home.
Mr Mutale was put to rest on Saturday and the church is now grappling with finding money to send the children to their grandmother in Kasama.
When contacted, Mumbwa District Commissioner Felix Ndopu, who expressed shock, promised to investigate the matter to ensure the children are assisted.
He said he was only aware of another case of two other children whose guardian lost his business, leaving the children vulnerable and abandoned. The children have since been picked by a traditional ruler in the area.