Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
A 35-year-old woman who sliced her eight-year-old niece’s buttocks with a razor blade for snooping while she was having sex with her husband was recently sent to jail for a year-and-a-half.
Miriam Mungure pleaded not guilty to ill-treatment and neglect of the child but was convicted after a full trial.
Harare magistrate Mr Batanai Madzingira sentenced Mungure to two years in prison, but suspended six months on condition of good behaviour.
Prosecutor Mr Stylon Marufu proved that Mungure assaulted the eight-year-old girl with a piece of wire since 2010.
Mr Madzingira said Mungure’s form of disciplining was unacceptable and no parent would assault a child with a piece of wire.
In mitigation, Mungure maintained that she loved her niece dearly and even waited starting her own family while taking care of her.
Mr Madzingira insisted that he did not believe her. The court heard that the girl was in the habit of laughing in her sleep. The habit offended Mungure who thought the girl was being mischievous, peeping through the blankets to watch her having sex with her husband.
Mungure injured the minor’s buttocks as punishment. In her defence, Mungure said she assaulted the child in a motherly manner. She said the cuts on her buttocks were deep incisions (nyora) she made to apply herbs after the girl got sick.
The matter came to light after the girl was taken for medical examination after Mungure’s brother reported that she was ill-treating the child. The doctor discovered that the child had severe scars and fresh razor blade cuts on her buttocks and hands. After being quizzed, the girl said her aunt cut her as punishment for laughing in her sleep.