LONGWE Ngosa, the woman being prosecuted for assaulting her four-year old stepson has told the Lusaka Magistrates Court that it is in fact the boy’s teacher who brought the story to the public responsible for all the all torture marks on his tiny body.
In lengthy testimony yesterday, Ngosa said her stepson had confided in her of having been whipped by Naomi Chisola, his teacher for defecating and urinating in his pants at school.
In this matter Ngosa is charged with assault on a child.
Defending herself before magistrate Mutinta Mwenya, Ngosa said in May last year her husband left home for work and left his two sons aged 13 and 4 under her care.
Ngosa said sometime in June, she prepared breakfast for the children which she served them in the living room and proceeded to prepare lunch .
She narrated that whilst in the kitchen she heard the youngest boy crying and when she rushed to check on him, his older brother told her that he was jumping from the couch to the table and then he slipped and crash landed on a mug cup.
She said the boy sustained a deep cut on his cheek to which she cleaned him and rushed him to the clinic within the military camp were she was only given pain killers by a nurse who indicated that there was no doctor to attend to the boy.
Ngosa said she called her husband to inform him about the accident.
She said after a week she decided to enroll the boy in school and during interviews the director asked if the child had any medical condition and she responded in the affirmative.
“I told him he only had an injury on his right leg which he sustained in February 2022 when he fell from the stairs in Apollo. We did physical examinations on him by carrying heavy objects running around the office and lifting his arms,” she said.
Ngosa said after filling in her details on the school form she was introduced to the child’s new class teacher and she informed her about his deformity.
“I explained to her about the injury on his leg and how she was supposed to keep him and look after him. I told her he’s not supposed to sit and stand for a long time and run too much,”Ngosa said.
“She asked me why and I told her those are the things I was trained to do to him by the physiotherapist.”
Ngosa claimed that during the child’s first week at school the boy told her that he was beaten by his teacher for defecating in his pants.
“I took him to the bust station the following day so that I could speak to his teacher. When the school bus came I spoke to his teacher asking why she beat him she never gave any explanation and apologized saying it would never happen again. I didn’t say anything and went home,”she alleged.
She said due to her poor health she asked the eldest child to prepare the boy for school every morning and he obliged.
Ngosa alleged that the teacher continued beating the child until towards the end of July when he gave up saying he did not want to go to school anymore because he was always beaten by his teacher.
“When the father called I explained everything to him and he requested to speak to the child on a video call but because of network it couldn’t connect. He asked me to record a video of the child telling me to record him saying exactly what I said of which I did and I have the video on my phone,” she said.
“He was saying his teacher had whipped him I sent the video to his father and when it was time to bath him I discovered that there were marks of whips on his thigh, stomach back and his left hand was swollen.”
She claimed that when she tried to stretch his hand the boy cried and upon asking him what had happened he said his teacher had assaulted him.
The accused said because she was unwell she directed the eldest child to get the teacher’s number the following day at the bus stop but Naomi refused to give him her number prompting her to lodge a complaint with the school administrator.
“On August 3,2023 around 13:hours he (the four-year old) nocked off from school and I noticed he had a bandage wrapped on his two fingers on Wednesday night he cut himself with a razor blade when he was doing homework with his elder brother. It wasn’t a deep cut but I was surprised why the teacher had to put a bandage on his finger,”she said.
“On August 4 I took him to school I wanted to see the head teacher and speak to him about what I had found on his body.”
Ngosa said when she went to the school she requested to have an audience with Naomi and the director but she was informed that Naomi was sitting for her GCE exams and the director was unavailable.
She said that the administrator to her to return to the school on a Saturday in the afternoon as she would schedule a meeting for her.
“On Saturday the child had a high temperature I bathed him and gave him some medicine in the morning. Afterwards I fed him and he slept waiting for time to go to his school. At 11:00hours, I heard a nock on the door, when I opened I found two men standing by the door and they asked if I was Mrs Bwalya,” Ngosa explained.
“They asked how many children I had and I said two one was 13 and 4. They asked me where the children were and I showed him the eldest who was at the neighbors place with his friends and I told him my youngest son was sleeping. They asked why he was sleeping at that time and I told them he had a high temperature and they asked me to bring the child.”
She alleged that when she asked the men to identify themselves she was told not to get in their way as they were at her home to do their job.
Ngosa said the men told her that they were provosts and directed her to bring the boy and unlike wasting their time.
“When I brought the child one of the officers grabbed him took of his clothes and started getting pictures of him when I asked why I was told I was going to know when we reach provost office,” she said.
The accused explained that the officers informed her that she was found wanting for maltreating the child and asked her to accompany them to Macopollo police.
She said she informed her husband about the development and he assured her that everything would be fine as he would abandon his duty and attend to her in the shortest possible time.
“When I was moved to Matero police station I was told the school teacher had reported me and there were videos of my son say I had assaulted him,” said Ngosa.
At this point magistrate Mwenya adjourned the case to February 28 for continued defense in order to attend to other matters.
By Mwaka Ndawa
Kalemba February 8, 2024.