Community Service For Breaking 8y Old Niece’s Ribs
18 March 2022
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Total Miscarriage of Justice or Magisterial Incompetence.

By Dr Masimba Mavaza

In a bizarre miscarriage of justice a woman Letwin Masawi bashed her twelve year old niece breaking her two ribs, dislocating her shoulder before sending her out of the house at 12 midnight.

The child, who lives with her, limped with swollen face, swollen legs and bruised hands. Doctors at Makumbe Mission described the horrific injuries as permanent.

The injured child was staying with Letwin Masawi who is a wife to her father’s brother Givemore Jorodhani of Matope village Domboshava.

Jorodhani is a soldier and has been threatening the Matope villagers into silence about the ongoing abuse of the child.

For her cruelty on the child, Letwin Masawi was only sentenced to 150 hours of community service.

The case came to light when the fearless Catholic Priest, father Fidelis Mukonori reported the matter to the police. The villagers were scared of the uncle who threatened to shoot anyone who will talk to the police.

“All the villagers were scared of the Uncle because he threatened all of them because he is a soldier. He is also in good books with the police so they were scared to report the case.

This incident happened less than a kilometer from the police station. All the neighbors confirmed it and explained the abuse in detail.

One of the neighbours helped the girl to escape but did not want his name released for the fear of the soldier uncle.

Talking to this writer, the teacher and owner of the school where the little girl was attending also confirmed abuse of the child. “The child came hungry every day .. and came with fresh wounds everyday; they even approached a social welfare worker. The school had to prepare food for the kid because she never brought food with her at school.

“The malnourished child now walks bent one side as the ribs which were broken still cause pain.

Speaking after the court ruling, a lady who gave witness on condition of anonymity said, “Child was abused by her uncle’s wife …She narrates that she was beaten every day with an electric wire and from the open wounds and marks on her body this was true. When found she was wounded all over her body and her clothes were blood stained. Upon arrival at the clinic, the x-ray confirmed 3 broken ribs and a cracked shoulder. The child was admitted and the case was taken to the police, only for the magistrate to give this abuser 150 hours of community service.“

The prosecuting attorney Chikiwa in court number 5 could not be reached for comment. The magistrate’s name had not been established at the time of publication.

This case has since caused a serious community outcry. Father Fidelis Mukonori has promised to take the case up to the minister of Justice and the acting Prosecutor General.