The Sunday News
Stanford Chiwanga, Online News Editor
SECURITY has been ramped up at Mpilo Central Hospital where Kudakwashe Mahachi’s four-year-old son is receiving treatment for third degree burns.
The minor, son to the South Africa based soccer player, has been moved to a more secure bed and guards that man the entrance to the children’s hospital now restrict access to the minor. Only “close and trusted relatives” are allowed to see the child.
The hospital has also stopped the mother, Miss Maritha Ndlovu, from receiving food and drinks from visitors.
Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya confirmed the new stringent security measures.
“The safety of the child is of paramount importance. He suffered terrible and life-threatening injuries. We don’t know who harmed the child and we thought it’s better to be safe because the person or persons responsible may want to come back and finish the job.
The child is a key witness in his own case and he knows who harmed him. So, we are not taking chances. Police are still investigating the case and as a hospital we are just playing our part,” he said.
Bulawayo Police spokesperson Abednico Ncube was not in a position to comment on the issue yesterday. “I am not around today, so I am not in a position to comment,” he said.
However, Miss Ndlovu said hospital authorities told her that the tightening of security was necessary to ensure nothing untoward happens to her son.
“The hospital authorities told me that they moved us to another bed for security reasons. They said there were some people who came, claiming to be doctors and demanded to examine my son.
I am also told some lawyers that were claiming to have been sent by Mahachi wanted to see us. The hospital turned them away,” said Miss Ndlovu.
The increase in security comes as South Africa’s Premier Soccer League side SuperSport United suspended Mahachi and advised him “to attend to his family and the allegations against him”.
The club said: “SuperSport United FC has become aware of the serious allegations levelled against our player, Kudakwashe Mahachi.
The club has suspended the player from all club football activities with immediate effect. He has been advised to attend to his family and the allegations against him. The matter is subject to judicial processes. The club will make no further comment at this time.”
Mahachi is alleged to have scalded his son with boiling water before smuggling him back to Zimbabwe, where part of his right foot was amputated due to the severe burns he suffered.
However, the player has maintained his innocence, instead blaming family members and the mother of the child. He has said the child was not harmed in any way while visiting him in South Africa where he stays with his wife. He sired the child in his previous union with Ndlovu, who is based in Zimbabwe.
The child left Zimbabwe on 25 February at the request of his father, and on 19 April, his mother received a call from Mahachi’s grandmother who asked her to come to Cowdray Park in Bulawayo where the child had been left, allegedly by a cross border transporter (malayitsha), after a gruelling ten-hour road trip from South Africa while injured with no family member by his side. It also turned out that the child had spent a number of days at the house without visiting any health care centre.