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Chipata woman delivers from a field after clinic officials refuse to helpBy Mirriam Chabala on 12 Mar 2018
A women of Chief Chinunda’s area of the Chewa speaking people in Eastern Province has given birth to a baby boy from a soya beans field after clinic officials in the neighbouring village refused to help owing to a land dispute between the two villages.
Explaining the incidence to News Diggers in an interview, Blackson Mbewe, a village headman of Chief Chinunda said the incident happened on Friday last week between 17:00 and 18:00 hours, when the woman who was said to have gone visiting in the neighbouring village went into labour.
Mbewe said the incident happened in full view of health officials at the clinic, adding that the woman was only assisted to deliver by a head teacher at Chanyumbu Primary school.
“There is a woman who came to visit Chanyumbu Village from Chinunda area last week and then she went into labour while she was here. So on Friday [last week], she was rushed to Chanyumbu clinic so that she could could deliver her child there but she was denied access to the health facility due to some land wrangles that have been going on between the two villages. This is after the dethroning of Chief Mafuta by [Paramount] Chief Gawa Undi. The medical staff at the clinic could not attend to her even though they where around just because she was from another village. So that was how the Head teacher for Chanyumbu school, madam Soko along with other women from the community took her to a nearby Soya beans field so that she could deliver from there and she managed to deliver a baby boy,” explained Mbewe.
“Now just imagine how the medical staff who are trained to help expectant mothers could subject a woman who is in labour to such an environment? Because all this was happening in full view of the medical staff and they couldn’t do anything. So we are just concerned, if they could do something like that to a pregnant woman, what more could they do to people like myself who is not even pregnant if I went to seek medical care? So government should seriously do something about this. We can’t allow such things continue to happen in our country.”
A serious Chiefdom wrangle has being brewing between Chinunda and Chanyumbu Chiefdoms after Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi dethroned Chief Mafuta for insubordination. However, it seems Chief Mafuta’s sympathizers have resorted to hostile behaviour against villagers who are not from the same area.
And Chief Chinunda’s induna Kumandakuitana Tonga, further explained in a separate interview how the confusion came about.
“Chanyumbu is in Chief Chinunda’s area, then the people who are surrounding Chanyumbu clinic where settled by Chief Mafuta and they were mistreating the people who are the owners of the chiefdom. So when the matter was reported to Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi by Chief Chinunda, it was resolved by Kalonga Gawa Undi that Chief Mafuta should vacate the area and surrender to chief Chinunda. But then Chief Mafuta did not surrender the area, he became arrogant or disobedient to Kalonga Gawa Undi, which resulted in him being dethroned,” said Tonga.
“So people who are causing havoc in Chanyumu are sympathizers of dethroned Chief Mafuta. They are just trying to revert anger to the people of Chief Chinunda, they just want to retaliate. And everyone knows this. The office of the DC are aware of this, the police are aware of the issue, even the PS is aware of what is happening here. It is quite unfortunate, and the story of that pregnant woman is very unfortunate. So there is urgent need for the traditional leadership in the area to find a solution to this. We are actually going to table this matter and find a solution, this didn’t have to go this far.”
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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