A SINGLE mum from Masvingo allegedly threw her two minor children in a well after failing to take care of them.
In a related incident, a 16-year-old Mangwe girl drowned while trying to flee from her abusive father after she attempted to cross a flooded river in the middle of the night.
Police confirmed both incidents yesterday.
In the Masvingo incident, Judith Taruvinga, 24, of Nemamwa area in Mashaya village under Chief Charumbira, allegedly took away her two children against her mother and stepfather’s pleas.
She proceeded to throw the children down a six- metre deep well, police said.
The two children’s bodies were later discovered floating in the well.
Police identified the drowned children as Tanaka, 5, and Ronica Zvemari, aged one-and-a- half years.
Their bodies were taken to Masvingo Provincial Hospital mortuary for post-mortem.
Masvingo police spokesperson Inspector Charity Mazula said the incident happened on Sunday at around 6AM.
“I can confirm receiving a report to that effect. The suspect was arrested a day after the children went missing. She will appear in court soon facing charges of murder.
“We suspect the woman threw her children in the well before attempting to flee.
“She was arrested in Masvingo’s Central Business District a day after committing the alleged crime,” she said.
Sources said Judith got home drunk on Sunday after spending the day at a local bottle store drinking beer with her friends.
Judith’s parents told her to look after her children instead of spending most of her time drinking beer.
“Taruvinga arrived home at around 6PM visibly drunk as she was staggering.
“She found her mother, Juliet Taruvinga, 45, stepfather, Chamasi Chirikufawo, 51, and her two children, Tanaka and Ronica at home. Juliet is said to have raised concern over the way Judith was neglecting her kids by spending too much time frequenting bottle stores. This could’ve incensed her,” said Memory Mupanduki, a relative.
Mupanduki said Judith indicated to her parents that she wanted to take the children to their father who lived in the same village.
She said Judith told her mother that she could no longer afford to take care of the children.
“Her parents realised that Judith was drunk and refused to let her take the children away. Judith was adamant and forcibly dragged the two minors away. She never returned home that night,” said Mupanduki.
She said on the following day at around 6AM a fellow villager, Ratidzai Zimanyiwa, went to fetch water from a nearby well.
Mupanduki said Zimanyiwa found Ronica’s body floating in the well.
“She rushed to report the matter to Juliet. A formal report was then made at Nemamwa Police Base. Police attended the scene and managed to retrieve the body from the well. After conducting further searches, they discovered Tanaka’s body in the same well,” she said.
Sometime last year, a woman from Headman Nemarundwi in Zimuto area, killed her three children by poisoning them following a dispute with her mother who accused her of having loose morals.
In Mangwe District, police said a 16-year-old girl drowned while trying to cross a flooded river in the middle of the night.
Lizneth Mpofu of Matshongwana South Village in Sanzukwi area drowned on Sunday around 11PM in the Sanzukwi River and her body was discovered on the following morning by a passerby.
The girl was reportedly on her way to her grandmother’s homestead after running away from her father who had beaten her up.
Chief Sangulube confirmed the incident.
“There’s a young girl from my area who drowned in Sanzukwi River. The river was full and she attempted to get across in the middle of the night. Her body was discovered by a passerby who alerted villagers and the body was ferried to Brunapeg Hospital Mortuary,” he said.
The village head of the area, Charles Ncube, said according to reports he got, the girl had a misunderstanding with her father, Marko Mpofu.
He said Mpofu accused his daughter of arriving late from church services.“It appears that the argument became intense and Mpofu started beating up the girl who in turn fled from the homestead. She dashed out of the house and revealed that she was going to her grandmother’s house. She shouted that she would never return to her father’s homestead,” said Ncube.
He said his area had received heavy rains over the weekend and most of the rivers were flooded.
Ncube said the girl attempted to cross the flooded river in the middle of the night and was swept away.
“One of the villagers from the area found the girl’s body by the river and alerted others. The water had swept the girl for a distance of about a kilometre and the villagers who attended the scene immediately identified her,” he said.
Ncube, who described the incident as a tragedy, said mourners were gathered at Mpofu’s homestead.
He said Lizneth, who was staying with her father, had reportedly run away from home on several occasions to stay with her grandmother after reporting that her father constantly beat her up.
Matabeleland South acting provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Nkosilathi Sibanda confirmed the incident.
He said a postmortem had been waived by Plumtree magistrate, Gideon Ruvetsa.
Ass Insp Sibanda urged members of the public to desist from crossing flooded rivers especially during the rainy season.