5 Mumbwa or­phans in dou­ble tragedy

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

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.

Mr Mu­tale and one of the or­phans

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