A PENHALONGA woman reportedly forced her sister’s two children aged five and 11 to relieve themselves in a tin and eat their waste as she watched in a case of child abuse that has left the community baffled.
Melody Zvevamwe (31) of Chakonda Farm was last week arrested for abusing her two nieces.
The children’s mother, who is based in South Africa, left the children in Zvevamwe’s custody.
She pleaded guilty to charges of ill-treatment or neglecting children as defined in Section 7 (3) of the Children Protection Act when she appeared before Mutare magistrate, Ms Prisca Manhibi.
She was remanded in custody to December 30 for sentencing.
Prosecuting, Ms Tafadzwa Chiwanza said on an unknown day in November, the accused ordered the complaints to relieve themselves in a tin and eat their waste as she watched.
“She threatened to kill the children if they disobeyed her orders. On another day, Zvevamwe used plastic to burn one of the complaints on her back, stomach and hands.
“She would also pull their tongues using a pair of pliers as punishment,” said Ms Chiwanza.
The court heard that the accused would also assault the children with a whip and cooking stick.
The abuse the children suffered at the hands of their aunt only came to light on November 30 through an anonymous tip-off.
Police in Penhalonga and some child protection organisations reacted to the tip-off and went to Zvevamwe’s residence to investigate the matter.
Their findings led to her immediate arrest.
The children were medically examined and taken to Simukai Child Protection Programme where they are being offered safe shelter.
Child abuse includes all types of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, or negligence which results in harm to the child’s health, development or dignity.