Terrence Chipungu, yesterday appeared in court charged with culpable homicide after whipping to death his maid’s four-year-old child for soiling his pants and bed-sheets in the dining room.
Chipungu, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, appeared before regional magistrate Lucy Mungwari for trial.
The child’s mother, Sandra Chazika, however, gave conflicting testimonies on the cause of her child’s death.
Chazika told the court that she did not witness her child falling, but maintained he died as a result of a fall.
According to the State’s case, on November 14 last year and at house number 105 Zata Street in Mbare, the now-deceased was being fed by Chipungu’s wife, Edith Makombe, when he soiled his pants and bed sheets.It is alleged Chipungu, who was outside, came into the dining room and realised that the now-deceased had messed himself. He went outside and pulled a 40cm stick which he used to beat up the child several times.
After the assault, the child was then taken to the bathroom for a bath by his mother who did not dry him, but asked him to walk back to the dining room undressed since she wanted Makombe to dress him.
The State alleges when the child entered the dining room, he fell on his back and was picked by Makombe, who was sitting on a sofa, and at that juncture Makombe discovered that the now-deceased was having breathing difficulties and she alerted his mother, who was in the kitchen.
Chazika, in the company of Chipungu and Tanatswa Mupaso, took the now-deceased to Harare 24-Hour Clinic, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The deceased’s body was then ferried to Harare Central Hospital where a post-mortem examination established that the cause of death was marked brain oedema, head trauma and assault.
Ressie Nyamombe prosecuted for the State.