Friday 28 January 2022


A PENHALONGA woman who ill-treated her sister’s children by forcing them to excrete in tins and eat their waste has been sentenced to 24 months imprisonment by a Mutare court.

The woman would also force the minors to burn themselves with hot molten plastic.

In passing the sentence, six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

Melody Zvevanwe (33) of Chakonda Farm will therefore serve an effective 18 months in prison.

She was convicted on both counts of ill-treatment or neglecting young persons as defined in Section 7 (i) of the Children’s Act, Chapter 5:06.

Mutare magistrate, Ms Rumbidzai Kabasa presided over the matter, while public prosecutor, Ms Tafadzwa Chiwanza, represented the State.

Zvevanwe had denied both charges.

However she was convicted after a full trial due to the overwhelming evidence that was produced in court.

The woman had been staying with her niece and nephew, aged 11 and five respectively, at Chakonda Farm because her elder sister, the children’s mother, works and resides in South Africa.

She started staying with the children early last year.

The State heard that she always beat the two children with a whip and a cooking stick for no reason.

On one occasion, she burnt her niece on her back, stomach and hands with hot molten plastic before burning her nephew with the same plastic on his tongue and right hand.

“She used to pull both children’s tongues using a pair of pliers as punishment. She ordered them to spend the whole day working hard without eating anything. Sometime in November, she ordered her niece to excrete in a tin and then forced her to eat all her waste while she watched. The child ate all her waste after she had been threatened with death.

“The matter came to light after a tip-off was made to the police by concerned neighbours. A team of police officers and officials from the Women Affairs and Social Development Department reacted to the tip off. It was then found that the allegations were true,” said Ms Chiwanza.

The children were taken to Simukai Child Protection Services for safe shelter, while Zvevanwe was subsequently arrested.

In sentencing Zvevanwe, Ms Kabasa said she deserved incarceration as she acted in an inhumane way as evidenced by the way she treated her sister’s minor children.

She said the sentence will go a long way in discouraging other guardians from ill-treating minors. Manica Post




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