A 30-YEAR-OLD woman from Chinotimba in Victoria Falls stunned the court last week when she started crying, saying her two-year-old daughter was a burden who frustrated her because she was forced to take care of the infant.
Jacqueline Sibanda (30), who admitted that she had sex with men for money, appeared before magistrate Sharon Rosemani facing charges of physical abuse, as she was accused of throwing her child down to the ground and whipping her.
“My daughter had not done anything at all when l whipped her,” she said, struggling to hold back tears.
“I was just upset because she was now a burden I was being forced to keep.
“She cried when l whipped her, but l did not see if she was injured and I think her grandmother took her to the hospital.”
Sibanda said she was frustrated as she could not find affordable accommodation and the girl’s paternal relatives were not forthcoming in keeping the child.
She said the owner of the house, where she is a tenant, did not want her daughter staying there for unknown reasons.
Sibanda claimed the father of her daughter contributed to her frustrations, as he did not support the child and she had to struggle to earn a living for both herself and the child.
“I was married for a year then we divorced and l had no source of income,” she said.
“My daughter’s father was not working all along, but l heard he recently got a job.
“I sleep with men for a living, but l do not make much money.”
Prosecutor Listen Nare told the court that on February 17 at around 4am in Chinotimba, Sibanda went home drunk and asked to be given her two-year-old daughter who was being taken care of by another tenant.
She then took the infant and threw her to the ground and whipped her using a stick several times.
The child sustained bruises on her back and was taken to the hospital.
In coming up with a sentence, magistrate Rosemani said she appreciated Nyoni’s honesty on her ways of making money and realised her terrible financial situation.
“As a mother you can have issues, but you should never take them out on your child,” the magistrate said.
“If you do not take care of her, who will? She is only two years old.
“All this is caused by the lifestyle you are living, but let this be a turning point for you.”
Nyoni was sentence to three months in prison, wholly suspended on condition she performed 105 hours of community service at the police dog section.
Rosemani told Nyoni that the probation officer, who is presently out of the country, would visit her house anytime from tomorrow to check the welfare of the child.