Of maids, missing children

By Phillipa Jaja

Housemaids have for decades helped in the running of households thereby easing workload for their employers.

Hired to provide assistance in handling household chores such as washing, cleaning, cooking, and even childcare, maids are a critical component in all families.

This explains why maids are an essential element that families sometimes adopt and extend several benefits to.

Stories have been told of maids that were handsomely rewarded by their employers to show their gratitude.

Some have even gone on to inherit their owners’ assets upon their deaths.

So noble is the profession that one would not think of faulting these house helpers.

However, there always exists a flip side of a coin where helpers are found on the wrong side.

An 18-year-old Glen Norah housemaid, Nyaradzo Gosha, recently laced her employer’s drink with poison in a fit of anger after being denied permission to meet her sister.

She was eventually arrested and charged with attempted murder of her employer, Konai Muzhangiri.

In another recent case, a Zvishavane maid kidnapped her employer’s eight-month-old baby and also stole USD$60 a day after starting employment.

The baby was eventually found in her care a week after.

Ironically a majority of cases where maids are blamed involve them stealing and kidnapping their employer’s children.

The Review and Mail went out to the streets to have a clear understanding of what motivated such actions.

Simbarashe Shumba of Eastlea said it was because of a lack of clear demarcations concerning a helper’s choice.

“My understanding is that maids that end up being accused of kidnapping owners’ children are generally overworked and do that in retaliation.

“Imagine a situation where a maid is supposed to take care of all house chores, the family garden and all.

“Then that person is additionally told to be a child minder. That is impossible! so maids sometimes do this so as to punish employers for overworking them without necessarily meaning any harm. However, I cannot say the same for those who do it for ritual purposes,” he said.

Scott Chitanda of Sunningdale said such maids are generally evil by nature.

“You have to understand that some maids have wrong intentions from the word go.

“Despite good treatment by employers, some just want to cause the pain by abducting these children.

“Therefore, my advice is to do a thorough vetting process before welcoming some strangers into your homes and entrusting them with your children,” he said.

Samantha Mutero of Glenview 1 said house helpers needed strict supervision.

“Left alone to their devices, these maids will shock you.

“I once employed a helper who used to enrich my neighbours with my groceries. What then would stop such a person from doing much worse and kidnapping your child?

“Strictly supervise these maids to avoid the worst,” she said.

Belinda Matuna of Warren Park said helpers did it for money.

“I think those doing it are doing it from a monetary point of view.

“It is not a common secret that ritualists pay handsomely for children. This world is now filled with people who are greedy for money without sweating for it.

“Remember the money for toes crazy that turned this country upside down months ago. It is the same with helpers who are sometimes part of a network supplying children to ritualists,” she pointed out.

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