Macheso saga triggers debate

HARARE - Sungura music star Alick Macheso, who has fallen out with his former wife Tafadzwa Mapako — has sparked fierce debate over the way he treated his children for sunken fontanels (nhova).

This comes as the award-winning star is fending off  a costly divorce from his ex-second wife who sensationally claimed Macheso had ‘inserted’ his manhood in the mouth of one of his children to treat nhova.

Macheso has strongly denied the claims which he says are calculated to assault his reputation following the collapse of his marriage to Mapako.

This week fierce debate erupted over the traditional versus medicinal ways of treating sunken fontanels.

Deputy minister of Health Paul Chimedza said there was nothing mystical about sunken fontanels as they could easily be treated at local clinics.

He said sunken fontanels were caused by dehydration in children and that the condition could be easily treated by using oral rehydration methods such as the sugar and salt solution.

Traditional healers, on one hand prescribe certain herbs to treat the condition while some apostolic sects rub salt inside the baby’s mouth, but Chimedza said the anomaly could easily be corrected by hydrating the child.

Even traditional healers quoted in the media throughout the week; spoke out against the methods of exposing one’s private parts to treat a child.

Nyaradzo Gumbonzvanda, a human rights activist said the traditional methods as the one described by Macheso of kutara which also involves exposing one’s genitals to a baby were akin to child abuse

“I think these are some of the practices which are dangerous, retrogressive, and ones which create opportunities for child abuse. This kutara should be prohibited, discouraged or criminalised.

“If a child has nhova (collapsed or bulged), just take the kid to hospital,” Gumbonzvanda wrote on her Facebook page.

Patience Chiyangwa, Childline public relations manager said her organisation had been prompted by the public to act on the Macheso matter.

“As Childline we usually act in a manner that is in the best interest of the child and we have already engaged the parent after the public outcry,” Chiyangwa said.

Virginia Muwanigwa, chairperson of the Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe said: “It is a bit worrying because we know that there are cultural practices, but there is a thin line between cultural practices and human rights abuse.

“If it did happen then it is an issue of concern because there is child protection on one hand,” Muwanigwa said.

Alec Matimba, a pastor with Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe, said while any sickness or discomfort to the body was associated with the demonic activity, it was also important to act in a responsible manner when dealing with such matters.

The pastor said that while prayer was helpful, it was of utmost importance to deal with the matter using proven medical interventions which had been proven to be effective in the past.

“We pray against sickness and disease but we should do so with the understanding that the devil sometimes uses human ignorance to compound situations for instance we understand that sunken fontanels are caused by dehydration.

“We must therefore look at the facts on the ground and follow medical interventions which have been informed by research,” Matimba said.

Comments (6)

The fact that we are faced with such an issue shows that we are still in the Stone Age. We need to pull some of our friends into the 21st century through massive education. Traditional leaders such as chiefs as well as political leaders like counselors need to have workshops specially designed for them dealing with such issues.

Nhoroondo - 12 May 2014

Only now are we hearing all,why didn't she seek help then.She waits for divorce first?

Believe chizeya - 13 May 2014

anopenga tafadzwa if such practises wre being done thr wld have been exposed long back, shame on her ngaarambwe zvakanaka. why exposing this in the verge of a divorce. Sick woman......

VEGASS - 13 May 2014

iwe munhu anonzi nyaradzo wakatotarwawo futi

hip hop - 14 May 2014

While the Word of God has now reached nearly every doorstep to pronounce that JESUS CHRIST is the only healer,they are still some who are still clinging to cultural practices for their healings.This type of healing was common in cultural practices and was usually administered if the husband had been promiscuous while her mate was suckling a child.It was done to prevent the loss of the child although today there is need for child protection.This mother is not responsible because she waited until divorce struck then she revealed the story what was the case if the marriage was still binding?

Point of View - 14 May 2014

this is rather questionable as to why during divorce and not before.Tafadzwa don't deform good character yaMacheso

munashe musunda - 19 May 2014

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