Lusaka magistrate Alice Walusiku has sentenced a 36-year-old woman to five years simple imprisonment for burning her 9-year-old step daughter on the buttocks for urinating on the bed.
When the matter came up for plea today Elizabeth Phiri readily admitted the charge of child assault.
She told the court that she burnt her step daughter because she was upset that the girl didn’t comply with her orders to change her clothes after wetting the bed.
Magistrate Walusiku described the convict as an evil woman who needed to be taken away from society so that the children at home could have a breather.
In her judgement, the magistrate wondered why the convict burnt the child over trivial matters which could have been resolved by way of talking.
Magistrate Walusiku said she would be failing in her duties if she didn’t punish Phiri so that other step mothers and biological parents in the habit of mistreating children could learn a lesson.
She regretted that cases of women brutalizing their step children had become so rampant in our communities.
Earlier, in mitigation, the convict asked for leniency as she didn’t know what she was doing.
She further said that she was pregnant and that she had a duty of taking care of her disabled child.
Facts before the court were that on June 3, 2017 Phiri assaulted her step daughter thereby occasioning her actual bodily harm for urinating on the bed.
The victim was burnt on her left buttock with a pressing iron after her step mother called her in the bedroom to ask her why she had not changed her clothes.
After assaulting the girl, her step mother then sent her to wash the blankets.
And the victim’s father only learnt of the incident after the girl failed to sit down when he wanted to talk to her.
Phiri then started cleaning the sore.
And according to neighbors who reported the case of child abuse to the police, this was not the first time the girl was being abused.