Malawi: Boy Burnt for Being in Good Terms With Step Father

Machinga – Second Grade Magistrate Court at Machinga Boma recently convicted and sentenced a 22 year old lactating mother to two years six months imprisonment after the court found her guilty of burning her six year old son for being in good terms with her divorced husband.

Beatrice Ojesi was arrested in November 2015 after being accused of burning her son’s legs and arms for spending most of his times with his step father who was divorced by then.

The court heard that the boy was in good terms with his step father such that after divorce the boy still visited the father.

This did not please the mother because the boy sometimes refused to eat her food claiming that he had already taken food at his step father’s home, according to the police prosecuting team.

Ojesi was pregnant by the time of the incident (November last year) and the police waited for six months to let her deliver.

She was answering ‘Committing an act intended to cause grievous harm” charge which is contrary to Section 235 (A) of the Penal Code.

Ojesi pleaded guilty to the charges and in mitigation she asked the court to consider her a non custodial sentence because she has a six year old baby currently breast fed.

“I wanted to discipline the boy,” she told the court the reason for burning the boy’s legs and arms.

Second Grade Magistrate Maxwell Boasi condemned Ojesi’s action saying this was more that discipline.

Though she was first offender, the police however asked the court to give her stiffer penalty to stop others from committing similar offence.

Medical results showed that the boy sustained burns on legs and arms and received medical treatment last year.

Ojesi comes from Mpita Village, Traditional Authority Chamba in Machinga.

In a related development Police at Liwonde in Machinga arrested Oliva Kazembe for pouring hot water to her husband Mathews Kazizi as he was beating her on his way from a bottle store where he spent six hour.

Kazizi sustained serious burns on his face, chest, berry, back and is currently admitted at Machinga District Hospital thereby delaying a court hearing due to his seriousness.

Kazembe who admitted to pour the hot water to her husband alleged that she was annoyed because her husband beat her regularly and recently took K25, 000.00 cash without her knowledge.

Police have opened Committing an act intended to cause grievous harm contrary to Section 235 (A) of Penal Code

Speaking at his hospital bed Kazizi called on Civil Society Organisations to intervene in the case of a ‘husband suffering from a wife’.

On her part Kazembe regrets that she over reacted and is wishing her husband to get well in the hospital so that they can reconcile.

SOURCE: Malawi News Agency