From Ida and Keith 3 September 2009:
Two stories hitting the headlines here.
During the recent health-workers strike, a photograph was taken of a woman given birth, unattended, in the grounds of the University Teaching Hospital. It was sent to ‘The Post’ newspaper where Ms Chansa Kabwela, the news-editor, though it too graphic to publish but decided to send it to various government officials, women’s organizations and the Catholic Archbishop of Lusaka to let them see some of the effects that the industrial action was having on the general public and hopefully prompt the Government to take action to take resolve it.
The picture roused the fury of the Government and Ms Kabwela was charged with ‘circulating obscene materials’. This case is now sub judice but to compound matters ‘The Post’ recently published an article calling the prosecution and harassment of Ms Kabwela, a ‘comedy of errors’. This resulted in the entire editorial staff being summonsed to appear before the court yesterday and a warrant being issued for the arrest of the Editor-in-Chief, Mr Fred M’membe, who is at present on study leave!
While President Banda was giving a press conference in the garden at State House recently a monkey up a tree had the temerity to urinate on him. Executive justice and retribution have been swift, it is reported earlier in the week that 61 monkeys have been captured ‘humanely’ in the grounds of State House and dispatched to the Zoological Gardens at Munda Wanga in Chilanga..
Meanwhile, we finally received the Adoption Order and new Birth Certificate for Mubita from the Registrar-General. We have an interview now with the American Embassy in Lusaka on 9 September, applying for a Visa so he can come with us to Milwaukee at the end of the month for the Mission Week we have been invited to attend.
This week Ida has gone to Mongu via the backroad for a week’s course of Quality Assurance. It is apparently quite challenging for them, but not as great as the mosquitoes at the guest-house where she and Sister Neemo, the administrator from Sichili, are staying.
I am at home. This is the last week before school starts. We’ve just had the car worked on in Lusaka but the bolts holding the diff shaft fell out and the shaft hit the gear box casing, thankfully not too much damage. The nuts were probably not tightened properly with a spanner at the Nissan workshop. Of course the replacement bolts were not available in Livingstone but we managed to get them in Namibia yesterday and they have been fixed and tightened under supervision. I have written expressing our concern to Nissan and await their response.
Work is progressing well with the slab for the classroomblock. It has been backfilled, rolled and the concrete is now being mixed. This is hard physical work. There is no electricity or running water. The water is rolled in drums for almost a kilometre from the river to the building-site. The cement and stones are hand- mixed by shovel to make the concrete.
At the School Board Meeting I was asked to continue to spearhead the development of the High School and to start to formulate with others necessary policies, timetables, curriculum and syllabus. I have started drafting and collating the various papers we will need. Our objective is to open the Mwandi UCZ High School in January 2010.