Malawi police arrest mother for burning daughters’ hands

Police in Malawi’s southern district of Balaka are keeping in custody a 29 year old woman for allegedly scorching her 8 year old daughter for stealing relish.

The district’s police spokesperson sub inspector Joseph Sauka says the suspect Agnes James 29 sent the victim to fetch fire from her aunt’s house, and in the process the victim stole some relish [cowpeas] which her aunt was cooking.

“When her aunt came, she realized that someone has stolen her relish and upon enquires, she was told that the victim is the one who has stolen her relish and she took the whole pot of relish to the victim’s mother so that her daughter should just finish eating the relish,” says Sauka.

The victim

The victim

Sauka says upon hearing this, the suspect Agnes James was furious and she grabbed her daughter and dipped her hands into the hot pot of relish and the victim sustained blisters on both hands down to the fingers.

“Police arrested the suspect after receiving a tip from concerned citizen and the victim has been referred to Balaka district hospital where she is receiving treatment and medical report shows that the victim sustained second degree burn,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sauka says, the suspect is expected to appear before court soon where she will answer a case of unlawful wounding contrary to section 241a of the penal code. Agnes James comes from Kumbewe village, Traditional Authority Nkaya in Balaka district.

In a related development, a court in the district sentenced Mercy Namacha (28) to 40 months imprisonment with hard labour two years ago for burning the hands of her 7 year old daughter for stealing one kilogram of maize flour.

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