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NGO´s won´t challenge


NGO´s won´t challenge

Sam Banda Junior

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Sam Banda Junior, AfricaNews reporter in Blantyre, Malawi Photo: Screen shot from Madonna movie
Malawi's Human rights organizations will not challenge US singer Madonna's bid to adopt a second child, officials have said. However, the NGOs have called on the singer to follow the country's adoption laws.

The country’s human rights bodies under the umbrella of the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) said unlike 2006 when they contested Madonna’s first adoption, they are not interested to follow suit this time.

Madonna jetted in the southern African country on Sunday and is set to adopt a second child Mercy James. The singer in 2006 adopted the first child David Banda who is now three years old from an orphanage in Mchinji a few kilometers from the capital city, Lilongwe.

The adoption was however not short of controversies as the human rights bodies dragged her to court. She however won the case.

Media reports in the country said the 4-year-old James, would be a sister to Madonna's three other children. Madonna filed adoption papers in the Malawi High Court before her appearance on Monday.

The court is expected to make a judgment on Friday.

HRCC’s Undule Mwakasungula, Mabvuto Bamusi, Lucky Mbewe and Kamugholi Zalira were quoted by Malawi’s local daily of The Daily Times as saying they have not yet come to a position where they would challenge the adoption.

The team called on Madonna not to use her celebrity status to flout the country’s laws. “Madonna is acting like a bully. Because she has the money and the profile she is using it to manipulate and fasten the process,” said Mwakasungura who is HRCC’s top boss.

The report further quoted Mwakasungula as saying they were not against Madonna adopting another child but said they simply wanted to uphold the rule of law. “We can’t have a country that doesn’t follow laws. What message are we signaling out there,” he said.

According to media reports under Malawian law, foreigners have to be resident in the country for at least 18 months in order to adopt a child but ultimately the decision is based on the child’s best interests.

Malawi is one of the countries in Africa that has many orphans due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Whilst others are opposing the adoption some quarters feel there are so many orphans who need help hence the adoption should go ahead.

2009 Apr 1