Monday, December 5, 2011

To Bingu and His Zealots: Why Grab Land From Orphans?

There are children in Mulanje district, children who wish to have been in caring arms, but get the wind instead. The children of Friends of Mulanje Orphans (Fomo).
Their parents, those unforgettable beings, took them this far, and, then, went. There, where people look no back.
Behind- in Mulanje that is- they left something for their children, the children who have found love in Fomo: hopelessness!
At that hour, of hopelessness and gloom, came Mary Woodworth- a British citizen who sends her love from within and (from) across the seas and the blueless skies, to the forgotten children of Mulanje.
Mulanje is not just a district. It is a visible district. So visible, perhaps, because of Mulanje Mountain, where Mulanje Cedar and massifs Malawi glorify. Mulanje mountain is a beacon in the sky.
Mulanje mountain is the pinnacle of visibility, for sure.
But can we say that Mary Woodworth saw Mulanje from the United Kingdom, and, when she looked at the base of Mulanje mountain, saw children wonder about? Uncared for? Unaccounted for. Unknown?
No, Mary Woodworth is a Malawian- that is, she was born a Malawian. A Malawian from Mulanje.
As a Malawian, she knew about the extended family system, a system so much glorified in Africa. A system worshiped!
In the past, before Westernization took the human being out of the African, there were no orphans in Africa; no vulnerable children.
That was then, when society took care of its people. African society, that is.
But Westernization came, and killed the African conscience.
Then, HIV and AIDS came too- stretching the extended family system beyond limits.
However, both westernization and HIV and AIDS did not come from Africa.
Africa is suffering from problems man-made somewhere.
But some of Africa's problems are man-made!
Need examples?
There are men and women in Malawi, shameless men and women who rule over both the people and the people's poverty. But they also rule over their own fat accounts. Their accounts are full, but their people languish.
Some of these misguided people know that HIV and AIDS is ravaging our souls, but still go on to claim that they have "abolished" HIV and AIDS!
I guess you wouldn't expect a Head of State and Government to say that, but one African leader has actually said this. Search me!
It only shows how detached these people are from reality!
So detached are they that they have started grabbing property from orphans and vulnerable children in Mulanje, the land of the great mountain and massifs.
The people who are doing this, the thieves of orphaned and vulnerable children's property, are cronies of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the party of the President, which President is Bingu wa Mutharika, whose title is DPP President and State President, which State is that of the Republic of Malawi, which Malawi is in Africa, to be precise Southern Africa, which Southern Africa others call Central Africa, the Central Africa that was there before the British called this land Southern Africa, those British folks who live across the great oceans, which oceans never on water go hungry, which water comes from the rains, the rains that fall in the world and Africa, which Africa they colonized, which colonies live no more, because Mulanje Mountain has prevailed!
Well, as Mulanje Mountain, these politicians too have prevailed. Prevailed over innocent, powerless, hungry, starving, clothes-less, shelter-less children. Politicians whose rust for money values no humanity, sees no suffering around. People who wear black jackets, drink decorated water, and go upstairs to down upon all the world.
These politicians- DPP politicians, some DPP politicians- have lost their sense of morality and are grabbing orphans' land in Mulanje.
For once, they have grabbed Fomo land in Mulanje- their, close to their tea plantation- and want to get it for themselves. They think orphans and vulnerable children have no right to own land.
Now, they have grabbed the land, with the blessings of President Bingu wa Mutharika who rules over the land, and makes no qualms about claiming that he is in-charge, and given it to a certain rich man in Mulanje.An equally selfish, gluttonous man who feels satisfied grabbing land from innocent children.
Now, as if that were not enough, they have confiscated Mary Woodworth's British passport! Government seized the passport of the charity volunteer Mary Woodworth, 46, last week.
They have been shamelessly fighting her since last year, when they arrested and accused her of committing a horde of senseless offenses. They included trespass (let's stop here and ask some questions).
Tell me, how can one 'trespass her own land? Eeh? So, if one is not a DPP fanatic, they begin to trespass on their own land? Malawi must surely be in bad hands!
The second charge bordered on conduct likely to cause breach of the peace (another question).
Now, if one is taking care of orphans on her own land, giving the orphans and vulnerable children hope and, therefore, peace, where does the breaching of peace come from?
The other charge is that of theft. Again, how does one steal his own land?
They say she grabbed land from Chitakale Tea Plantations owned by businessman and DPP politician, the filthily-rich Leston Mulli.
No wonder, the Mulanje Magistrates' court discharged her and the five other innocent women whose only crime is to love children left behind by their parents, children forsaken by their relatives, children who can no longer be absorbed by the extended family system.
The one thing about these innocent Mulanje children is that- having been left behind by their parents, for reasons they will never know, for reasons they will never understand, other than their 'time' came, time that came 'too' soon- they are hated so much by the ruling DPP and its cronies they simply have to disappear from the neighbourhood of ruling DPP policians!
But justice will have none of this cruelty. This fat inhumanity! This shameless selfishness.
Surely, Mbona is on Mary Woodworth and these children's side. Surely!
Why, if the question be raised, would people in black suits, with their beards protruding and gathering all the moss around, grab land from little children who have found hope, and are going back to school, eating well, and hoping again; and, then, prosecute their new-found-mum?
That is cruelty beyond measure. Greed larger than the stoutest man's stomach!
Why prosecute Mary Woodworth, who has just been in the country from three weeks now. She needed rest, after a long flight from the United Kingdom. She needed to see the faces of the children she cares for, too. She wanted to hug them, and tell them she counts on them, that they are productive citizens of this country. She wanted to touch their backs, and tell them to hope on, that life is a bag with so many things within.
She expected to receive nothing from the boys- not even to grab their land; she only knew they would smile back, and tell her 'Takulandirani' (we welcome you back).
Of course, she got smiles from the kids- their mum was back.
It is from the government of President Bingu wa Mutharika she got the greatest insult from: court summons.
Mary Woodworth- so loving, so selfless- was was summoned to appear before the Mulanje Magistrates' Court on Wednesday to face six charges.
Private lawyer Frank Mbeta applied to the court that Mary Woodworth should be summoned, and got his bid. The truth is that it is not only Mary Woodworth who has been summoned; it is all the children she looks after.
Not only that. Her passport has been taken by security forces at Mulanje.
All this is questionable because the Supreme Court already ruled that the land belonged to Woodworth and her aunt Lisnet Gremu.
But the government of President Bingu wa Mutharika, knowing that the individual who wanted to grab the land from innocent children and lost- shamefully so (because the courts in Malawi are so independent and make us all proud)- still plotted to take the land from Fomo, woodworth and the innocent children.
It gave the land to Dave Kanyoza, a business associate of Mulli.
It is so simple to 'read' these people. All they want is that Malawians should forget this injustice perpetrated by a selfish state, and that, over time- probably when Mary Woodworth will be dead- the Mullis will still grab the land.
It is a plan so wicked and evil the individuals involved must be worse the Adolf Hitler and other men who will never be forgotten for the atrocities they committed here (on earth).
Now, Woodworth fears for her life. Fortunately, the British Embassy is providing her with consular support and security, to shield her from the fangs of evil, useless, shameless men of the ruling party.
But Woodworth has not given up. Woodworth will not give up. After all, her orphanage reaches out to over 5,000 children. With its 13 centres covering over 80 villages in Mulanje district, a lot of children now have hope, and know that tomorrow is there for them.
Confirmed reports indicate that President Bingu wa Mutharika wants the land in question because he plans to build 'The Malawi Institute of Climatology and Earth Sciences' in 2012. The President promised Mulli the same, and Mulli pledged to donate part of the children's land. The land does not belong to him, it belongs to Mary Woodworth. But Mary Woodworth, be so loving, saw it fit to use it for charitable causes: giving hope to innocent children now orphaned by no want of their own. No cause of their own.
But this government can be so persistently cruel it still wants the land. This is not new. The current administration has been disregarding court decisions because it believes that it will always get its way.
It is a government poor on human rights record, sick at media freedom, and shameless at suppressing dissent.
Intellectual discourse, too, has been up for a beating by President Bingu wa Mutharika's administration. The irony is that all the hullabaloo about 'Academic Freedom' started when this strange man, the so-called Professor Bingu wa Mutharika, was minister responsible for Higher Education.
Already, Peter Mutharika has shown how much he can mess this country up if given a chance.
He failed to resolve the 'Academic Freedom' issue.
And the people spoke in Rumphi Central Constituency in September 2011. There, the ruling DPP lost like a misguided youth.
People wanted to teach the DPP a lesson. A lesson that, even though the late Moses Chirambo was DPP MP for the area, it is not automatic that constituents will always be gullible and vote for failures.
You say the DPP can learn? No.
The land issue in Mulanje gives us insight into this strange stubbornness in the corridors of DPP.
A kind of stubbornness that prompts the President to get his younger brother out of the Education Ministry he so messed up, for that of Minister of Foreign Affairs- apparently to clear Bingu wa Mutharika's mess. A mess born when he deported British Ambassador to Malawi, Fergus Cochraine-Dyet!
But Mutharika, the Peter, has been hitting on rocks. So far, as in the Ministry of Education, his days have been sad and lonely, with no achievements to point at.
But the DPP still does not learn.
That is why it has gone full throttle in its attempts to grab land from innocent, orphaned, and vulnerable children in Mulanje.
Some of the efforts government has made include attempts to resurface thrown-out charges.
Here we go:
Last month, government officials turned the Mulanje Magistrates' Court into a hall of scandal when- on Wednesday, November 30, 2011- they presented charges against Mary Woodworth- which charges were discharged in the year 2010.
This shaming of Malawian courts by the government of Malawi and DPP cronies came to the fore when Woodworth's lawyer, Patric Mpaka, used his legal skills to get the better of opposing lawyers by showing them the anomaly and act of deceit on their part.
In addition, Mpaka told all those who were representing the 'misguided' side that they did not have, and could not provide, a legitimate letter of consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Mpaka did not mince words when he informed the honourable court about the dishonourable act by the dishonourable people representing supposed honourable individuals who are out to grab innocent children's land that the paper-work used to drum the charges against Woodworth were used previously, and duly discharged by the same Magistrate, Tsoka Banda.
Mpaka realized also, after cross-examination, that the DPP issued consent to private practise lawyer, Noel Chalamanda, to prosecute the case scheduled (way back in 2010), and that the case was dismissed due to poor commitment by from the prosecution.
That dismissal gave Woodworth the chance to get a breather and go back to the United Kingdom to fundraise for her charity.
It is on her return that police officers have confiscated her passport and reopened the old case, this time with a different lawyer wearing the unfitting tag of state prosecutor. His name is Frank Pemba.
That is why, in his submission to the court, Mpaka labeled Pemba “an imposter”- especially for his blatant failure to produce produce certified consent from the DPP.
All these efforts, imagine, are aimed at grabbing land from innocent children.
Zachimalawi warns that- when all this is over- there is something that never overs! That is justice!
Let justice prevail. They hopefulness in the children prevail.
Zachimalawi wishes justice well.

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