Written by RAPHAEL TENTHANI
I think the Big Kahuna must be turning in his mausoleum in the wake of the needless wrangle between his widow, Callista, and his children over his estate.
When news came that Bingu was taking in a new wife in 2010 when he was already 76 some of us had reservations. The old man was already in the afternoon of his life. At best he could have lived at least 15 more years. On the other hand at 50 Callista had the whole life ahead of her. And she was somehow contemporaries of some of Bingu's children.
This was certainly a recipe for disaster considering that most of Bingu's estate was built with his late first wife, Ethel. Surely the potential for rivalry between Callista and the children was potent here.
But when the old man made the decision to re-marry regardless we - meaning us all, including his children - had to respect his wishes. We would like to believe he had all his faculties in working order when he proposed to - and exchanged vows with - Callista. Although they hardly stayed together for two years Callista was no less a wife to Bingu. She has all the rights to his property.
We hope Bingu left a will that spells out how his wealth is going to be distributed. But in the unlikely event that he died intestate (without a will) there surely is a more civilised manner to distribute his wealth among worthy beneficiaries. All of Bingu's children are grown up; they must be living independent lives now. It is therefore disrespectful of their late dad for the children to be harassing the woman he literally spent the rest of his life with.
Prof. Peter Mutharika promised Callista on a world stage that she "will never walk alone". When Bingu died in April Peter ceased to be an uncle to his brother's orphaned children; he assumed the role of father. Let him guide his charges properly while not ignoring the rights and interests of his sister-in-law. The family accepted Callista into their family when Bingu was alive; they should not ostracise her now that the patriarch is gone.
Let the family preserve Bingu's legacy by not behaving like uncivilised people to fight over deceased estate.
© The Marai Post 2012.