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A PLUMTREE man, who flogged his four-year-old daughter to death as punishment for failing to close a goat pen at their homestead, was yesterday sentenced to eight years in jail.
Ngoni Tshuma (25) assaulted the child, Simosenkosi, with a Jatropha switch and a piece of wire and she died a few hours later from injuries sustained in the brutal assault.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere convicted Tshuma of Dombodema area of a lesser charge of culpable homicide.
Tshuma will serve an effective five years in prison after Justice Bere suspended three years for five years on condition that he does not within that period commit a similar crime.
In passing the sentence, Justice Bere said Tshuma’s conduct was deplorable and reckless.
“The manner in which you chastised your daughter was excessive and bordered on recklessness. The little girl was defenceless and looked up to you for protection as her father, but instead you turned out to be her enemy,” said the judge.
Justice Bere said the courts frowned upon child abuse.
“The courts have a duty to protect children from being abused. The conduct exhibited by the accused person summarises the seriousness of the offence and therefore the sentence must send a clear message to other child abusers out there,” ruled Justice Bere.
Prosecuting, Mr Trust Muduma said on September 26 last year at around 5PM, Tshuma arrived at his home and he was advised by his relatives that his daughter was disobedient. The girl was not home at the time Tshuma arrived.
The court heard that soon after she had returned, Tshuma ordered her to go and fetch water and the goats.
“Simosenkosi took longer than anticipated and Tshuma decided to follow her. The girl later arrived home in the company of Zodwa Moyo,” said Mr Muduma.
Tshuma rounded up the goats and penned them before he returned home where he confronted his daughter. He reprimanded her for disobedience and failing to do chores and penning goats.
He took the girl to his bedroom where he assaulted her using a jatropha switch. The girl proceeded to bed after the assault and Tshuma discovered that his daughter had died the following morning.
He informed his sister and a neighbour who in turn made a police report leading to Tshuma’s arrest.
According to post mortem results, the cause of death was due to traumatic shock, multiple injuries and subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Tshuma through his lawyer, Mr Vezokuhle Ndlovu of Mlweli Ndlovu and Associates, pleaded for leniency, saying it was not his intention to cause the death of his daughter. By Mashudu Netsianda, Source-chronicle