A stepmother has been arrested after she beat to death her  six-year-old daughter before forcibly inserting a vibrator in the girl’s private parts.

She wanted to present the minor as a rape victim following the frenzied axe handle attack.Tendai Happiness Bwanya (45) of House Number 318, Hob-House 1, savagely attacked  Rumbudzai Ndoro who was pronounced dead upon arrival at Mutare Provincial Hospital.

The father of the slain girl, Mr Richard Ndoro, was left devastated, saying his wife had killed his daughter for ritual purposes. Ndoro said he suspected that his wife wanted to use the child for rituals to boost a liquor venture she was reportedly eyeing in partnership with a friend in Honde Valley.

He said on the fateful Friday evening he got home at around 8pm and found his daughter groaning in pain. She was naked, lying on the cold floor with blood all over. His wife Bwanya was busy mopping some of the blood that had flowed into the passageway. “I tried calling her name, but she could not respond. At that time my wife was not even attending to her, but complaining that my child was possessed and that she could not take it any more.

“In an instant, she told me that my daughter had been raped. She said she met someone as she entered the house whom she claimed could have raped my child. I told her to call for help, but she refused. I also told her that we should go to the police to report the matter, but she restrained me.

However, after a long struggle we finally went to Hobhouse Police Base where we reported the case and we were referred to Mutare Provincial Hospital where my child died upon arrival,” he said.

Bwanya, however, escaped from police custody that night, but was later arrested at her friend’s place hiding under a bed following a tip-off.

Her friend, Gladys Nyabereka, revealed that after she escaped from lawful custody, Bwanya arrived at her house drenched in blood at around 6am on Saturday.

“She told me that her stepdaughter had died. When I started crying in grief, she told me to stop, but asked me to go and collect her passport and $30 from her house. I then went to the police and made a report. She was eventually picked up and re-arrested,” she said. Neighbours said Bwanya, a final year student at a local teachers’ college, was abusive towards her stepdaughter.

Bwanya has since appeared in court facing murder charges. She was remanded in custody to September 12