‘My nephew is a liar and a criminal’ – Uncle
An orphaned 22-year-old Olefile Blessing Phillimon has accused his uncle Edward Simon of cheating him out of his inheritance and leaving him a destitute.
The young man, who undertakes general duties at Tagala Primary School in Gerald, Francistown, told The Voice his uncle sold a plot belonging to his late mother.
His father died in 2004 and his mother also succumbed to an illness in 2005 when the then 10-year-old was doing Standard Three.
“I went to stay with my uncle in 2006 until I finished my Form Three,” said Phillimon, who described his nine-year stay with Simon in Block VII as an ‘extremely unpleasant experience’
“I was constantly abused verbally by my cousins and uncle – they made my life hell,” continued Phillimon, who says the torment forced him to leave in 2015, when he sought refuge in Area W with another cousin.
Struggling to cope with the trauma of losing both his parents at such a vulnerable age, Phillimon revealed he has attempted suicide twice.
Once with an overdose of pills and another time he tried to hang himself but was rescued by passers-by.
Aged 18, he got a job at Choppies collecting trolleys from the parking lot.
“My contract ended and I could no longer contribute financially in the house so I left,” he said simply.
In June 2018, with nowhere to go Phillimon retraced his steps to his mother’s plot in Gerald and constructed a makeshift shelter in the yard.
“I knew my uncle long sold this plot, but I was desperate. This is my mother’s plot which she inherited from her grandmother as the last born of the family,” he said.
Phillimon said his uncle took advantage of the fact that all his siblings have died and then claimed the plot.
He told The Voice that his uncle dismantled the structure that was inside the yard and took the material, which he used to build a room at his house in Block VII.
“When he dismantled the house he told me he was building a room for me,” he said.
The orphan, who was rescued by members of Village Development Committee after seeing him sleeping in the open structure in freezing conditions, took the matter to the customary court on 30th August.
However, the court ruled against him.
“I’m not happy with the ruling made and I want legal representation to pursue this matter further,” he vowed fiercely.
Touched by his sad story, Geoflux employees in Francistown recently donated clothing and food items to help Phillimon, who has since moved in with good Samaritans in Gerald.
The Voice tracked down the man at the centre of the accusations in Block VII who painted a slightly different picture of the calm and soft speaking Phillimon.
“That is my nephew. I raised him after the passing of my sister,” said Simon who made it clear that he didn’t want his picture in The Voice.
“He’s a delinquent who causes trouble wherever he goes and people should be careful,” he said.
Simon said his nephew disappeared from home in 2015 only to reappear with claims to the plot in Gerald.
“Truth is that plot has always been mine. It belonged to my mother and after her passing and all my siblings passing I inherited it. It owed rates at SHHA and I consulted some of my family members who gave me the go ahead to sell it,” he said.
“I have statements to back this up,” he added.
Simon further pleaded with Phillimon to return home and to continue taking his medication.
“He’s always welcome. How can I mistreat my sister’s son?” he asked rhetorically.