Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
A FOUR-YEAR-OLD dumb girl from Bulawayo died after her mother allegedly fed her a herbal concoction to help her gain speech.
The father of the girl, Mr Mbuso Ncube, reported his wife to the police leading to her arrest and that of the traditional healer who supplied the medicine.
His wife, Mrs Lindiwe Ncube of Mzilikazi suburb allegedly got the traditional medicine from a woman from Makokoba suburb, Ms Senzeni Jiyane (59), popularly known as Gogo Majiyane, who specialises in children’s illnesses.
The Chronicle heard that the toddler complained of severe stomach pains after taking the medicine on Friday.
She was rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital where she passed away a few hours after admission.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident and said a murder investigation had since been opened.
“I can confirm that we are investigating a murder case where a four-year-old girl died after drinking a traditional concoction. The woman who supplied the concoction (Jiyane) is in police custody and is assisting with investigations,” he said.
Insp Ncube urged the public to desist from giving children unknown concoctions.
“We are very concerned about the sad sudden passing of an innocent soul and we urge members of the public to seek medical assistance from professionals,” he said.
Insp Ncube said a postmortem had been done but he could not disclose further information.
Sources close to the family who spoke to The Chronicle said the child died a few hours after admission at Mpilo Central Hospital.
When this newspaper arrived at the funeral wake in Mzilikazi suburb on Sunday, the parents of the deceased child were not at home as they had been taken by police for further questioning.
The news crew caught up with the family near Barbourfields Police Station.
A group of women and a man got off a police truck, escorted by police officers.
The Chronicle caught up with the father of the child as he left the police station on Monday afternoon.
Mr Ncube declined to respond to questions from this newspaper.
“I will not speak to the media about my family matters. If you keep on pestering me with your questions you will have problems,” he said.
Sources said Mr Ncube reported his wife to the police after she allegedly failed to give a satisfactory answer about the child’s illness.
Mrs Ncube implicated Gogo Majiyane in the matter. The parents of the child are alleged not on talking terms following the death of the child.
“Her body turned black and we heard that doctors suspected poisoning and that is what got the mother into trouble”, a source said.
Sources said the deceased was born dumb and her mother had procured the concoction to help loosen her tongue so that she could gain speech.
Following the death of the child, Mr Ncube and his wife have been enstranged.
“He started beating her up in the hospital ward when the child was very sick. She sought refuge at her family’s residence and only came to her matrimonial home on the following morning. Mr Ncube reported the matter to the police,” said a source who declined to be named. A relative who spoke to The Chronicle on condition of anonymity said the burial was scheduled for yesterday.
“So far it has been difficult to make any funeral arrangements as we are awaiting a post mortem report, however, we expect to lay the child to rest on Tuesday,” said a relative who requested anonymity.
The couple has two other children, all girls, one in Form Four and the other one in Form Three.