Saturday, 22 June 2013

INFANTICIDE: Zambia: Stella Mwelwa killed and ate her child

June 19, 2013
NEWS about a Serenje woman killing and eating her own baby sent shivers in my spine, and I believe many people reacted that way.
THE first question that came to my mind was the mental sanity of the woman in question. Is she normal?
Where on earth would a person desire the flesh of another and in this case her own flesh and blood?
Why would a mother, with all the emotional attachment that mothers have towards their children, mercilessly kill and cook her own child?
In a dramatic turn of events, the suspect, Stella Mwelwa said she ate her baby’s flesh because she could not go out hunting in the wild for fear of being arrested.
Whether or not this 29-year-old woman is mentally-unstable, police should leave no stone unturned in this investigation.
And I would rather police treat this woman as any other suspect so that they are not swayed into believing that she is mentally-unstable and thereby treat her with kid gloves.
While there is nothing wrong with police subjecting Mwelwa to mental examination, but I think they should also be wary that murderers sometimes tend to think ahead of police and create scenarios to cover their illegality.
The times that we are living in are quite evil and people kill for many evil reasons and I do not quite agree that every person who kills their offspring is insane.
Police must therefore get to the bottom of this case to establish why this woman killed and ate her baby.
If she says, she buried the intestines and ate the flesh, where are the other body parts such as the heart and head?
And suppose this woman is mentally-deranged and has been exhibiting violent behaviour as we are told, why was she allowed to take care of the toddler?
If a suspected mental patient gives birth, I think relatives and friends should take an interest in the safety of the toddler.
The kindest gesture that one can offer in this case is to report the matter to the Department of Social Welfare.
Where is the spirit of good neighbourliness that we Africans are renowned for if we can allow a suspected mentally unstable person to take care of a baby?
The toddler was only two months old; and reason why I believe it was potentially dangerous for the people who doubted this woman’s mental sanity to allow her to keep the baby.
I think we need to be good neighbours and take interest in the welfare of people in our neighbourhood.
And being a good neighbour does not mean assuming other people’s responsibilities, but simply showing some care and reporting certain cases to the relevant authorities.
A good neighbour can save a soul by just sending a distress call to the police when they suspect that their neighbour is under some kind of danger.
In any case, I hope that the police will uncover some truths in Mwelwa’s murder case so that we could possibly learn something. Phone 0211- 227793/221364. 

1 comment:

  1. I am writing this comment because I have been following the issue of infanticide in the tiny nation of East Timor; a people who have long endured mass human rights violations and a brutal occupation by Indonesia when human life was degraded and extinguished arbitrarily by the State. Today, East Timor is free of that and is one of the most staunchly Catholic countries. Perhaps the most important tenet of Christianity is the sanctity of human life - a sanctity that was descecrated for 2 and a half decades under the Indonesian occupation resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Which makes the present-day issue of infanticide in East Timor so perplexing. I have compiled several case histories of infanticide in East Timor over recent years and archived them on my blog, the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin. Last week, the State Secretary for the Promotion of Equality was reported as saying that "throwing away babies" happened in East Timor "in every village" and that it is a growing social problem, with most cases involving schoool-age girls. So what is driving this phenomenon in East Timor? Is it poverty or unwanted pregnancies resulting from the lack of condom use at the command of the Church or is it a legacy of the occupation which violated the sanctity of life? The social stigma of a young unwed mother? Or all of these? Any insights that readers of this blog have would be much appreciated. The latest report on infanticide in East Timor may be read here: