INFANTICIDE: Zambia: Stella Mwelwa killed and ate her child
June 19, 2013
GENDER FOCUS with EMELDA MWITWA 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. firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com. Phone 0211- 227793/221364.