A MUTARE stepmother grisly attacked her six-year-old daughter with an axe handle – leaving her for dead – before forcibly inserting a vibrator in the girl’s private parts in a futile attempt to present the minor as a rape victim.Tendai Happiness Bwanya (45) of House Number 318, Hob-House 1, was arrested for fatally assaulting Rumbudzai Ndoro who was pronounced dead upon arrival at Mutare Provincial Hospital where she had been referred to following the gruesome attack.
The suspect is alleged to have forcibly inserted a vibrator (sex toy) in the girl’s private parts, hurriedly stage-managing rape upon realising that the minor had been badly injured by an axe handle she had used to hit her on the head.
Chaos broke out in the neighbourhood as residents protested against the heartless killing, burning Bwanya’s property in the process.
The father of the slain girl, Mr Richard Ndoro, was left devastated, saying his wife had killed his daughter for ritual purposes.
Narrating the sad ordeal on Sunday, Ndoro said he suspected that his wife wanted to use the child for rituals to boost a liquor venture she was reportedly eyeing in partnership with a friend in Honde Valley.
He said on the fateful Friday evening he got home at around 8pm and found his daughter groaning in pain. She was naked, lying on the cold floor with blood all over.
His wife Bwanya was busy mopping some of the blood that had flowed into the passageway.
“I tried calling her name, but she could not respond. At that time my wife was not even attending to her, but complaining that my child was possessed and that she could not take it any more.
“In an instant, she told me that my daughter had been raped. She said she met someone as she entered the house whom she claimed could have raped my child. I told her to call for help, but she refused. I also told her that we should go to the police to report the matter, but she restrained me.
However, after a long struggle we finally went to Hobhouse Police Base where we reported the case and we were referred to Mutare Provincial Hospital where my child died upon arrival,” he said.
At the hospital, Ndoro said the doctor showed him eight fresh blood stained scars and bruises on the child’s stomach.
He also told him that the opening on the child’s private parts was too big to have been caused by rape.
“Her head was swollen and she had a cut under one of her eyes and on her lip. After questioning by the police, Bwanya admitted that she had assaulted the child,” he said.
Ndoro said they went to Chikanga Police Station where his wife was eventually arrested. Back home, he found a wooden vibrator piled with condoms in Bwanya’s wardrobe.
There was blood all over the sex toy, an indication that it had just been used.
Bwanya, however, escaped from police custody that night, but was later arrested at her friend’s place hiding under a bed following a tip-off.
Her friend, Gladys Nyabereka, revealed that after she escaped from lawful custody, Bwanya arrived at her house drenched in blood at around 6am on Saturday.
“She told me that her stepdaughter had died. When I started crying in grief, she told me to stop, but asked me to go and collect her passport and $30 from her house. I then went to the police and made a report. She was eventually picked up and re-arrested,” she said.
Neighbours said Bwanya, a final year student at a local teachers’ college, was abusive towards her stepdaughter.
Said one of the neighbours, Ms Rebecca Marange: “Bwanya is very heartless. I often warned her on the way she was treating the late child, but she would not listen.
“She was very abusive. Just two weeks ago, I told her that I was going to report her to the police if she kept on abusing the child, but she told me that I was snooping and that it was none of my business.”
Bwanya has since appeared in court facing murder charges.
She is being charged with murder as defined in Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23.
She was not asked to plead when she appeared before Mutare magistrate, Mr Poterai Gwezhira who advised her to apply for bail at the High Court.
She was remanded in custody to September 12
Mr Fletcher Karombe prosecuted. – Manica Post