—Abandoned children of a Serenje brother and sister who allegedly married each other were this morning withdrawn from their parents’ house to a place of safety.
Serenje District Social Welfare Office has this morning withdrawn four alleged children of Nicholas Mukuwa Bulaya 38 and Bertha Mwenda Chipuka 35 of Bulaya Village in Chief Kabamba‘s area who were abandoned by relatives following the duo’s arrest for incest on 28th December 2013.
Serenje District Commissioner Charles Mwelwa has confirmed government’s withdrawal of the abandoned four children from their home to ZANIS.
Mr Mwelwa expressed happiness that government has withdrawn the children and is taking them to a place of safety in Kabwe because family members are bitter about the alleged marriage of Nicholas to Bertha (who is his sister).
Provincial Social Welfare Officer for Central province George Akayombokwa said his office will immediately look for foster parents for the four children who are aged 13, nine, six and four before they are adopted.
Mr Akayombokwa said it was unfair for Nicholas and Bertha’s relatives to abandon the children because they were innocent.
“The direction taken by relatives to Nicholas and Bertha is not supposed to be taken by human beings,” Mr Akayombokwa observed.
He said his office will counsel the family members so that they accept the children back.
And Nicholas and Bertha’s uncle Torenz Bulaya said, “It’s ok that government has taken those children but for me I don’t need that counselling, they are talking about, may be other members of the family would accept but for me no.”
The withdrawn children are in Grades seven, six and 2 respectively.
Nicholas is alleged to have married Bertha his only sibling 13 years ago and sired five children from her.
The fifth child is nine months old and is with the mother in custody.
Nicholas and Bertha appeared before Magistrates Chiluba Kalutwa of Serenje Magistrate court for mention in a case where the two are charged with incest contrary to section 161 of the penal code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia as read with number 15 of 2005.
Magistrate Kalutwa said the two will continue appearing before his court until he receives directives from the Director of Public Prosecution.
Nicholas and Bertha are in remand and will appear in court on 20th January.