Friday, September 28, 2012

Butchering your child in the name of punishment

Common Sense: Butchering your child in the name of punishment
It’s a staple food for most news bulletins in our country and the cruelty that’s meted out to these children that make up these bulletins is such a shock to many of us.
News bulletins on either ITV or TBC cannot be complete without a news segment of a child having been abused by a parent or relative.

 The child has either been canned to deformity, burnt by candle wax, locked up in the chicken house for weeks or simply abandoned by the mother who run away and locked the poor soul in the house.
You see Africans’ appetite for cruelty is legendary. So, as an African, I’m not 100 per cent surprised by the cruelty meted out to these children. It’s in our DNA to have such mean streaks.
However, what baffles me is the level of cruelty and lack of empathy in many of the parents that do these kinds of things.

 Recently, was it on ITV or TBC, I’m not sure. There was a news segment on a father in Ikungi who caned his young daughter and in the process managed to break the girl’s legs to the extent that she was crawling, just to get herself around.
 The sister meanwhile hadn’t escaped the father’s madness either; she too had been caned to the verge of deformity.
   Reason for such anger, something along the lines of the girls eating food that wasn’t “meant to be eaten by them!” Yes, those are the reasons that these mad people offer for their slavery.

“The child never listens when I tell him to leave the porridge alone!” They will say. Then there is this one: “He stole Shs500 from me so I had to discipline him to send a message!”
Why would a savage of a parent cane their child for stealing Shs500? Who needs the so-called discipline; the parent or child? Don’t today’s parents especially the ones in the villages need some kind of sensitisation about some basics like, understanding the value of a human being?
If you can lock your own child in a chicken house for weeks, then there must be something cuckoo about you!

 This brings me to the fines and penalties leveled on these fellows. People are hankering for more punishment to these lumpen. I disagree. What these fools need is serious counseling and sensitisation. Folks in villages are crazy. These people don’t value life. These people’s understanding about life is so warped up that a village “doctor” can successfully frustrate a government programmer of immunization courtesy of a weird tale.

 Such people don’t deserve 15 years in jail. They deserve a re-education of sorts. You see imprisonment doesn’t change a mind-set. The problem here is the mind-set. So how do we deal with a flawed mindset? We don’t imprison it, do we?
We need to find a way to penetrate the mindset of our friends. In the meantime, can we say a little prayer for those children out there whose suffering hasn’t yet been discovered.


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