2 women jailed for burn­ing baby over meat

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Andile Tshuma Court Re­porter

TWO women have each been sen­tenced to 12 months im­pris­on­ment after they burnt a two-year-old child with meat as pun­ish­ment for cry­ing for the rel­ish while it was be­ing cooked.

The two ex­tracted a piece from a boil­ing pot, put it in the child’s hand and forced her to hold it un­til she suf­fered a per­ma­nent dis­abil­ity.

Shylet Sibanda (28) and Chris­tine Hu­runa (54) of Bells Farm in Umguza ap­peared be­fore Western Com­mon­age mag­is­trate Ms Tancy Dube charged with ill-treat­ment or ne­glect of a child. Hu­runa is the tot’s aunt while Sibanda is her mother. Pass­ing sen­tence, Ms Dube said: “Such reck­less ill­treat­ment of chil­dren will not be tol­er­ated. A child has been scarred for life. You are there­fore sen­tenced to an ef­fec­tive 12 months in prison.”

The State, led by Ms Mar­garet Takawira said on July 24 this year at around 4PM, Sibanda was cook­ing when the child threw a tantrum and cried for meat.

“Sibanda took a spoon and gave it to Hu­runa who fished a piece of meat from the pot and handed it to the baby. The mother of the child cupped the hot piece of meat in the child’s hands un­til she sus­tained blis­ters in her palms,” said the prose­cu­tor.

The court heard that Sibanda later took the child to Khami Clinic after re­al­is­ing that the child’s con­di­tion was de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and the burns were be­com­ing sep­tic.

She was later re­ferred to Mpilo Cen­tral hos­pi­tal. A med­i­cal re­port was ex­hib­ited in court as ev­i­dence.

The child suf­fered se­ri­ous burns and was left with deep scars that have caused par­tial de­for­mity on her palms as she can no longer stretch her fin­gers.— @andile_t­shuma.

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