‘Return me to Mwinilunga – I am tired of being accused of wizardry’ cries 100-year-old man
AS HE turns 100 years, Abyson Sauyembe of Livingstone has one final wish, to be returned to his native Mwinilunga from where he hopes to find comfort from his current loneliness and poverty.
A childless couple with his wife of 57 years, the Sauyandas 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 old age and childlessness.
Sauyanda and his wife found refuge in Natebe area of Livingstone where a good Samaritan has given them shelter albeit in a thatched mud houses which leaks gallons whenever the rains fall.
He says his wish for assistance with repatriation to his motherland is in the hope that he can trace his relatives and at least not live his last days in the current state of loneliness and abandonment.
Of his life, Sauyanda was one of the freedom fighters during Zambia’s independence struggle despite his not having benefitted anything to justify his sacrifice a people which now accuses him of sorcery and leaved him homeless and in abject poverty.
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 which lets in rain drenching his always frail frame wet.
Some Livingstone residents, among them, Andison Kauyembi who have known the couple for a lot of years object to the idea of relocating the couple on grounds that they may not be recognised in Mwinilunga by their kith and kin from whom they have been separated for a long.
However, if one seeks encourangment to understand the couple’s wish, Chinua Achebe in his celebrated work ‘Things Fall Apart’ says “‘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 centurion deserves his wish.