A woman from Whitecliff in Harare has been arrested and charged with child abuse after she allegedly ill-treated her two stepchildren, one of whom is now suffering from kwashiorkor.
The woman, Stella Kapuya (27), pleaded not guilty to the charge when she appeared before Mbare magistrate Victoria Mashamba, who remanded her in custody to August 16 for trial.
Kapuya was sent to remand prison after failing to provide the court with an alternative address where she could stay pending trial. Prosecutor Tendai Shonhai presented in court that Kapuya allegedly starved the minors, aged five and three respectively.
The State alleges that on different dates, Kapuya
mistreated her two stepchildren by beating them for wetting blankets, causing them to sleep outside in the cold at night, starving them in the absence of their father and not seeking medical attention for them.
Pleading with the magistrate to remand her out of custody, she denied all the allegations.
“I did not starve the children or let them sleep outside. I only used to beat them when they soiled their blankets,” Kapuya said before the magistrate sent her to prison.
The court also heard that at one point, one of the minors sustained burns, but Kapuya never took the child to hospital.