Take me back to Mwinilunga…I am tired of being accused of wizardry, cries 100-year-old man

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Abyson Sauyembe

AS HE turns 100, Abyson Sauyembe of Livingstone has one final wish, to be returned to his native Mwinilunga where he hopes to find comfort from his current loneliness and poverty.

Sauyanda and his wife of 57 years have endured untold suffering after being forcibly evicted from their humble homestead in Livingstone’s Makunka Village on accusation of practicing witchcraft due to their age and childlessness.

The Sauyandas found refuge in Natebe area of Livingstone where a Good Samaritan has given them shelter, albeit a thatched mud house which leaks whenever it rains fall.

Sauyanda says his appeal for assistance with repatriation to his motherland is in the hope that he can trace his relatives and not live his remaining days in the current state of loneliness and abandonment.

Sauyanda was one of the freedom fighters during Zambia’s independence struggle despite his not having benefitted anything to justify his sacrifice for a people who now accuse him of sorcery and have left him homeless and in abject poverty.

Abyson Sauyembe with wife

Sauyembe, whose story has been brought to the fore by Byta FM, is also appealing to well-wishers to help him with a tent or roofing sheets to cover his mud hut.

Some Livingstone residents, among them Andison Kauyembi who have known the Sauyandas for many years, object to the idea of relocating the elderly couple to Mwinilunga on grounds that they may not be recognised by their kith and kin whom they have been separated from for a long time.

However, if one seeks encourangment to understand the couple’s wish, Chinua Achebe in his celebrated work ‘Things Fall Apart’ wrote, “‘it’s true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother’s hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland.”

Maybe the centenarian will finally get his wish.

Kalemba November 30, 2020

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