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‘Do not come back here with your twins’

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By MFANUKHONA NKAMBULE - SWAZI NEWS-12-Jul-2009

MBABANE

MBABANE—The parents of the conjoined twins currently undergoing counselling and relevant treatment at the Mbabane Government Hospital have been verbally abused by insensitive people who telephonically ordered them not to come back to the Shiselweni region with their babies.

The callers who happen to know the couples because they called them on their mobile phones abusively warned them against returning to the community because they would perceivably bring bad omen to the residents. Other serious and insensitive calls that the leadership of the ministry of health received from people with perceived ‘inhuman heart’ suggested the killing of the twins because they were bad omen yet this could happen to anyone, and the ministry feels they are not a bad omen—and shall never be.

As a result, these telephonic abuses have encumbered the parents of the twins from coping with the counseling they were undergoing at the government hospital. On Friday, they were deeply traumatised until doctors assigned to check on them informed the ministry of health of their condition.

Minister of Health Benedict Xaba and Dr. Vusie Magagula, the acting director of medical services rushed to the hospital to spend sometime with the parents of the conjoined twins, in a bid to give them essential counseling. Legend has it that they should refer them to well known pastor of the Mbabane Alliance Church Rev. Dr. Johannes Mazibuko for spiritual exhortation.

The health minister said he spoke to Pastor Mazibuko about the condition of the parents and asked him to treat the matter with the urgency it deserved, as the words uttered to them by the anonymous callers were so poisonous that the father of the children found it difficult to cope with the situation. The minister of health warned people against abusing the parents, saying what befell them could happen to everyone. He said he also asked one of the senior government officials to report the matter to the chiefdom’s elders at Jericho, South of Swaziland.

“It’s a very bad thing. It’s inhuman to say such a thing to the couples. This is the time when we have to support them emotionally and otherwise. Before they heard these abusive words, they were in trauma already, and if someone comes out and make an insensitive call like this one, then you can see that some of our people are inhuman,” warned the minister of health.

The minister said the couples did not make the babies and it was not through their making that the twins were conjoined. He said reporting the matter to the chiefdom was in accordance with Swazi culture. The minister assumed the people who made the calls thought the couples would bring bad omen to the community, something that was far from the truth. He said they were trying to get hold of the callers.

“I have since been reliably informed that the official I have sent to the chiefdom was preparing to go there. In short he has not met them but in accordance with culture such matters are reported,” said the minister. Pastor Mazibuko confirmed that he got a call from the minister of health, asking him to assist the parents. Pastor Mazibuko said he would try to meet them this week to ascertain how he could help them. The acting director of medical services Dr. Magagula said the father also reported that he was being ridiculed, saying Swazis were celebrated for their respect and wondered why they allowed the evil to cause them to stoop so low.


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