A HOUSEMAID working for a couple stationed at Silobela Police Camp has been jailed for 24 months for beating up her employers’ 10-month-old son.
by BLESSED MHLANGA
Vimbai Machokoto (19) was sentenced on her plea of guilty to assault charges last week when she appeared before Kwekwe magistrate Taurai Manwere.
In her defence, Machokoto told the court that she slapped the child because he wanted to leave the house when she had been instructed not to let him get out of the house.
“He was crying wanting to leave the house and I beat him up because I was under instructions not to let him out since there were inspections which were being conducted at the camp,” she said.
Manwere dismissed her defence in passing sentence saying she acted in a barbaric and extremely cruel manner when she laid her hands on a child who could not even speak.
He said cases of brutality against minors, especially by maids, were on the rise and should not be tolerated.
“This child cannot even speak and yet you found energy and strength to strike the child with your hands to the extent that he sustained a swollen eye. That was barbaric and evil. This child has no other protection except the courts and we will protect him,” he said.
Machokoto will, however, serve an effective 16-month jail term after eight months were set aside on condition of good behaviour.
The State, led by Fortunate Mbizvo, told the court that on February 24, the baby’s mother came back home from work and discovered that her child had a swollen right eye and finger marks on his cheeks.
She then confronted Machokoto who professed ignorance over the issue until the matter was reported to police.