BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
TWENTY-SIX-year-old Adiona Mukarakate easily fits the description of one of the meanest stepmothers in the world.
Her stepchildren Alvin (7) and Alicia (7) (real names withheld) looked confused as they lay on their hospital beds last week.
Their facial expressions spoke of untold trauma and fear. They have been physically and emotionally abused by Mukarakate .
The children, a boy and girl, were rescued when an anonymous caller alerted the police after Mukarakate allegedly poured hot water on the children’s private parts as punishment for bed-wetting.
She also cut the boy’s manhood with an unknown sharp object.
The children reside in Marondera’s Yellow City high-density suburb with their stepmothers.
Mukarakate is currently in police custody facing charges of “Ill-treating or Neglecting of children or young persons as defined in Section 7 of the Children’s Protection And Adoption Act Chapter 5:06.”
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According to court papers, on an unknown date in January this year, Mukarakate was left in the custody of the children by their father.
It is reported that the children wet the bed and that angered their stepmother who assaulted them with a cooking stick on the buttocks.
Not satisfied with the punishment, she poured boiling water on the back of the boy before cutting his manhood using an unknown sharp object.
The accused also poured hot water on the girl’s private parts as punishment.
A government official who refused to be named said the children would be taken to their fathers’ aunt in Zvimba.
“The children were treated at Marondera Provincial Hospital and have healed of their wounds. The Social Welfare department together with other stakeholders have resolved to take the children to their father’s aunt in Zvimba. They will be staying there,” the official said.
“The children’s father is a truck driver, hence he is always away. The two children who are both 7 have different mothers. One of the mothers went AWOL and her whereabouts are not known. The other child’s mother remarried and her new lover is against the idea of staying with her kid from another marriage. This is what is on the ground.
“The father remained with his children and married Mukarakate who he trusted with custody of the minors. This is how it all happened. We had to find the children’s aunt who agreed to take care of the minors.”
A close look on the boy shows that he has some deformity on his hand.
The official added that if the abuse was not reported in time, more damage could have been done to the children, or worse.
“The boy broke his hand while playing sometime back but was not taken to hospital. The hand healed on its own hence the signs of deformity. It is part of the abuse. If the abuse was not reported in time, the boy could have lost his manhood given that it was cut from where it hangs,” the official added
Mukarakate is currently behind bars while nursing her own baby with the victims’ father.
Mashonaland East provincial police spokesperson Inspector Simon Chazovachi urged the public to continue alerting the police on cases of child abuse.
Meanwhile, residents in Marondera have called on authorities to ensure that the accused is locked up for the evil and inhuman behaviour.