We are compelled to say this following the recent sad incident in the country in which a four-year-old girl child in Morogoro, Nasrah Rashid Mvungi, left this world at the very prime of her short-lived life, after succumbing to complications caused by her long and brutal confinement in a box by the very people entrusted with her care – maternal aunt and her husband.
Little Nasra, who breathed her last shortly after midnight last Sunday night at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam after an unsuccessful struggle against pneumonia and dysentery, was condemned to life in a box by her brutal caretakers out of misplaced stigma following allegations that her biological mother had died of HIV/AIDS.
The very fact that the late Nasra (May the Almighty God rest her soul in eternal peace) had lost a mother necessitated the urgent need for someone to come forward and take care of her. As it had happened a sister to her mother came forward and took her.
What many did not expect or suspect is that the very same woman would turn out to be her tormentor or, now that she had died, her ‘killer’. Our news outlets, including newspapers, radio and television, are awash of the most harrowing, horrific and disgusting accounts of wanton mistreatment of children, either by their own parents or foster parents.
We read about little children being beaten or hacked to death by cruel or drunken real and foster parents. Little Nasra’s ordeal could only be a tip of the iceberg.
From the accounts we read in newspapers, mostly in the yellow press, mistreatment of children, some accounts of which border on the horrific, in the hands of irresponsible and cruel parents, both biological and foster, the ministries responsible for children and the social welfare department have got job to do.
The response and concern to Nasra’s ordeal nationwide was very touching. That alone should serve as an eye-opener to concerned authorities to address the plight of underprivileged children elsewhere in the country.