Zimbabwe Toddlers in Tragic Forest Death

Children as young as 3 normally do not look after cattle or go after them to bring them in for the night. But to toddlers from Mhangura in Zimbabwe , this was par for the course. Their parents, who appear to be getting away scot-free, left them at home to go and attend to fields kilometres away. The toddlers wandered in search of their cattle and died as a result. It is all rather fishy.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 30 December 2009

Two toddlers aged 3 and five died of hunger in a forest in Zimbabwe after having gone to look for their family cattle and bring them in for the night.

It is a tragic story that should really result in criminal charges against the parents (if they can be called that).Gift and Patrick Magadhi of Mhangura were left alone at home by their parents who went off to tend to their fields, which are said to be five kilometres away.

As the day drew to an end, the two toddlers decided that their family herd of cattle was late and they went off to bring them in for the night.

But they got lost apparently, and ended up in a thick forest five kilometres away from their home.

The parents raised the alarm upon coming back but a search of the areas proved fruitless. It was only after villagers got wind of a bad smell as they walked in the forest that their investigated and found the two toddlers' body badly decomposed.

"The bodies of the two were found about 15 metres apart nearly five kilometres from their village in a thick forest. No fould play is suspected at the moment as there signs that the children were lost and could have died of hunger," said a police spokesman.

The police also say that there are signs that the toddler tried to eat grass and they conclude that they could have died of hunger out there in the forest, too young to know how to live off the forest in which they found themselves lost.

It ma be cruel to say this, but I find all this rather suspicious. Why on earth would parents leave a three year old and a five year old alone at home while they went off to their fields five kilometres away?

How many parents do you know, if you are Zimbabwe, who take their children to their fields as a matter of course and you will find even babies resting in the shade of a tree while their parents wee the maize fields?

Why should this then not be a case of child base at the very least and culpable homicide at worst? Why not? This was irresponsible behaviour and it really should not go unpunished. Of course, it boggles the mind that any parent would do this, which leads to the suspicions about the deaths of these two toddlers.


  1. Mukoma Danny, what were the ages of these kids? you say 3 and nine at the beginning then you mention five years at the end.
    I doubt hunger from one day can kill a person otherwise half the country would be dead.
    I know its quite cruel to let a 3 year old wonder off five kilometers away from home but I suspect these kids could have eaten some poisonous fruit in the bush.Nzara yezuva rimwe haiuraye mukoma.

  2. Thanks Abel,

    The kids are 3 and five and I have corrected this.


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