Government has started processing a court bid to take over the custody of former conjoined twins Mapalo and Bupe, who have allegedly been abandoned by their parents. Kawambwa District Commissioner Ivo Mpasa and district social welfare officer Peter Musonda confirmed this in separate interviews . “We are trying to process a court order so that the children can be kept by Government at an orphanage,” Mr Mpasa said.
He said a court order was last year revoked because the twins’ parents wanted their children back. “The parents insisted that they wanted their children back and said a lot of things. All the officers who were involved in this just gave up to the demand of the parents,” Mr Mpasa said. He said it has now become clear that the twins’ father, Moses Mwape, and his wife Lydia have failed to look after their children. “As I am talking to you, we are going to court so that we re-activate the court order.
That way, the parents will have very little say,” Mr Mpasa said. The twins are admitted to Kawambwa District Hospital where one of them is being treated for malaria. Both are malnourished. Their parents are said to neither stay with them nor visit them. And Mr Musonda said he could not pre-empt what the department of social welfare in the district is doing until it gathers more information on the matter.
“We are going to share the next course of action at the right time,” he said. Kawambwa district director of health Arthur Mataka said the hospital is keeping the twins to improve their nutritional status. “They are no longer severely malnourished, they are outside the danger zone,” Dr Mataka said. He said the idea of keeping the twins at the hospital is to ensure that they are properly taken care of. On Tuesday, Pambashe Member of Parliament Ronald Chitotela visited the twins at Kawambwa District Hospital.
Mr Chitotela, who is Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, was concerned that the twins’ parents have not visited the hospital to check on the condition of their children since they were admitted about two weeks ago. Meanwhile, the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka has started stabilising the Siamese twins who were recently evacuated from Kabwe.
Senior medical superintendent for Women and New Born Hospital Margaret Chisembele said in an interview that medical personnel are working round the clock to ensure that the twins get healthy. “We are trying to stabilise them, we are still trying to sort out one or two things,” she said.
Dr Chisembele said it will take a bit of time before a team of experts can be constituted to operate the twins. The mother of the twins, Patricia Malambo, has appealed to well-wishers to help her with diapers and clothes for her children. “I am struggling with diapers and clothes for the twins. They have nothing,” she said.
Mrs Malambo said her husband, Ronald, has remained in Kabwe with their five other children. “I have nothing on me and I would appreciate if people could help me with anything,” she said. Mrs Malambo said as of yesterday, she failed to breastfeed the twins because she has had nothing to eat. “I just asked for infant formula which I gave them. Otherwise, the children are feeding well,” she said.