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A YOUNG couple from Triangle, in Masvingo province is in trouble with the law for allegedly causing the death of its six year-old son through neglect. The couple, Tawanda Mugabe, 30, and wife, Nyarai Manyika on Monday appeared before a Masvingo magistrate, Rosemary Zuyu facing culpable homicide charges.

They are accused of subjecting the minor to severe malnutrition leading to its death, accusations they both deny. Appearing for the State, Prosecutor Mukai Mutume told the court that, on dates unknown to her but sometime in June of 2012, Tawanda left his two children Paul (6) and Privilege (9) in the custody of his wife, Nyarai, while he went away to work.

The court was told that later in the month, Nyarai, who is a stepmother to the two minors, decided to follow her husband to his work place, leaving the two children without any care. The deceased, it emerged, had already shown signs of deteriorating health but that did not bother the woman. The court further heard that the two stayed together in Triangle and did not bother to check on the two minors.

Concerned relatives later called Mugabe informing him of the situation. Instead of taking his sick child to the hospital, it was alleged, Mugabe took the minor to his work place where he kept him “hidden” inside his staff quarters. The court was told that on July 12, the same year, police reacted on a tip-off from the public about the ill-treatment of the minor and this led to the pair’s arrest.

The court heard that the boy was taken to Collin Saunders Hospital for treatment but he died a few days later. A post mortem conducted on the minor concluded that the boy died of Kwashiorkor. The couple was remanded out of custody while they are due to return to court April 15.

Source : New Zimbabwe