By Tendai Gukutikwa
The Hob-House woman who brutally attacked her six-year-old stepdaughter with an axe-handle leaving her for dead before inserting a vibrator in her privates in a futile attempt to present the minor as a rape victim was yesterday (Thursday) sentenced to 23 years imprisonment.
Tendai Happiness Bwanya (47) was convicted of murder by High Court Judge, Justice Charles Hungwe. Her brutality resulted in the death of Rumbidzai Ndoro in August last year. In sentencing her, Justice Hungwe expressed shock at Bwanya’s heartlessness.
Justice Hungwe said as young as Rumbidzai was, she would not have provoked her stepmother to punish her the way Bwanya did. Said Justice Hungwe: “The horrendous nature of the wounds that were on the child’s body at the time of her body speaks volumes of the inhuman treatment and horrors she went through at your hands while she was still alive.”
Justice Hungwe said it was people like Bwanya who taint the image of all step-mothers because of the inhuman treatment she subjected the six-year old child to. “It is a bad case of cruelty, domestic violence as well as child abuse and it is a wonder that you are actually a mother of a grown up child who is still alive.
“As if that was not enough, you went further and crafted a web of lies which you told your husband, friend, the police and this court thinking that you will evade your befitting punishment,” said Justice Hungwe. Justice Hungwe was referring to Bwanya’s testimony in court that she had seen an unidentified man leaving her house and that the child had told her that she had been raped.
Justice Hungwe said if the child had been raped indeed, Bwanya would not have dissuaded her husband from making a police report and that after he had left for the police, she should not have kept on cleaning the mess in the house as cover up of the evidence.
After being arrested, she escaped lawful custody and asked her friend, Gladys Nyabereka to go and collect some money, clean clothes and her travelling documents as well as disperse mourners who had gathered at her house. Bwanya was arrested for the second time, after being caught hiding under Nyabereka’s bed.
Mr Jonathan Chingwinyiso prosecuted. Manica Post