23 October 2017
A nine-year-old Norton boy was recently subjected to horrific physical torture by his guardians, purportedly as a disciplinary measure after he let the family’s herd of cattle roam unattended.
The shocking incident happened at Elstonhood Farm in Norton.
Jameson Mugwagwa tied Collins Mugwagwa (9) to a metal pole before assaulting him with a wooden stick all over his body, inflicting horrific injuries. Jameson is the young boy’s maternal uncle.
After he was done meting out the inhumane punishment, his uncle, Richard Mugwagwa, who is the father of the victim’s mother, also took his turn to further assault the screaming boy.
According to the boy’s testimony, salt and water were repeatedly applied to his wounds during the brutal beating.
He was warned not to reveal the injuries to anyone, or he would face more punishment.
He was not taken for medical attention for weeks, until Monday last week, when Norton MP Hon. Temba Mliswa was alerted to the boy’s plight during a community development meeting held at Railway 28 Primary School where Collins was a pupil.
The legislator immediately alerted law enforcement agents, leading to the arrest of the two men.
They were both arraigned at the Norton Magistrates Courts and sentenced on Thursday last week.
Passing judgment, magistrate Barbara Chimboza described the boy’s ordeal as torture and inhumane.
Jameson Mugwagwa (20), of Plot 7, Elstonhood Farm, pleaded not guilty to contravening Section 4 as read with Section 3 (1) (a) of The Domestic Violence Act Chapter 5:16 (Physical abuse), but was convicted after The State, led by Bruce Mukwende, presented irrefutable evidence.
Jameson was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, of which six months were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.
The remaining eighteen months were commuted to 630 hours of community service to be completed within 20 weeks. He will serve the community at Chitenderano Secondary School.
Richard Mugwagwa (59), also of Plot 7, Elstonhood Farm, pleaded guilty to a charge of contravening Section 7(1) of The Children’s Act Chapter 5:07 (Ill-treating or Neglecting A Young Person). He was ordered to pay a fine of $100 or serve 30 days in prison. A further three months prison term was wholly suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.