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No single child deserves corporal punishment

I AM a firm believer that children are a blessing from God, so when I read stories about parents who cause harm to their children in one way or the other, my heart bleeds.
Surely as parents, should we be reminded that it is the obligation of every parent to ensure that a child that was brought into this world out of no fault of theirs needs to be cared for and cherished?
Parents, in whatever manner, should do all they can to ensure that their children receive parental love and guidance as they walk through life until such a time when they are independent.
Again, let me be quick to state that I am not saying children should not be scolded once they do wrong but it is the manner that a parent should carry out this reprimand.
As children grow up, they may along the way pick up habits that are displeasing, it may be within or outside the home environment.
It is incumbent upon parents or guardians to put them in check and help them realise that they are taking the wrong road in their life.
Even when parents give parental guidance, there is a civil manner that children are supposed to be guided through the journey of life.
No child deserves corporal punishment. After all they are but children and, as such, they need to be guided through life and made to realise right from wrong.
Even as parents instil this discipline in their children, they should realise that children have rights as well.
I have been compelled to remind some parents to tone down on the manner they instil ‘discipline’ in their children following a father who burnt his daughter over cabbage.
A daughter is usually more attached to the father than she is to her mother.  Media reports that a 40-year-old teacher of Mabumba Primary School allegedly scalded his nine-year-old daughter’s hands with water after she ate relish meant for supper were not only shocking but annoying.
The father, Frank Bupe, is on the run and the police are looking for him. This was confirmed by Luapula Province Commissioner of Police Malcolm Mulenga who said the incident happened over a week ago around 20:00 hours.
As a woman, I am saddened that it took school authorities to compel the mother Mary Chileshe, 32, to report the matter to the police.
The poor girl’s hand was dipped in boiling water after she ate Chinese cabbage which was meant for the family’s supper.
Surely, Chinese cabbage, which can even be grown in one’s backward, is what a sane parent would want to disfigure their child over?
The couple even tried to treat the wounds using traditional herbs after realising the wounds were serious. What nerve?
The child, who is obviously in excruciating pain, is now admitted to Mansa General Hospital. Why? Because of her ‘loving’ father.
Parents do everything possible to ensure their children do not end up in hospital; instead, Mr Bupe in his ‘right’ frame of mind is the one responsible for his daughter lying in a hospital bed instead of being home. The girl may even be disfigured for the rest of her life.
What is even more worrying is that Mr Bupe is a teacher who has been entrusted with the safety of other parents’ children while at school. Teachers take up the role of parents, more so that children spend more time in school than in their respective homes.
I shudder to think what pain he would inflict on someone else’s child if he can be so cruel to his own flesh and blood. One would even begin to doubt if the blood that runs in his veins runs in the veins of the child he burnt. Even if that child were not his, how cruel can one be? Putting it plain and simple, he is just a cold-hearted, wicked, cruel man.
Coming to the mother, she was ready to conceal such an ordeal to the police, obviously for the sake of her marriage.
To Ms Chileshe, obviously what was paramount was her marriage, surely at the expense of her dear daughter.
I imagine probably this child has gone through other forms of abuse which have been concealed for the sake of saving a marriage.
I would like to remind Ms Chileshe; this Bupe is not your relative, your daughter is. This man can cut ties with you but your child will never – no matter how you may treat her.
I have confidence in the police that sooner or later, Mr Bupe will be apprehended. He is a wicked man who should be thrown in jail with the keys thrown away. He needs to rot in jail because that is where he belongs.
Until next week
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