Police in Mashonaland East have launched a manhunt for a Marondera man who brutally assaulted his 12-year-old son with a switch for leaving the family garden at Rusternburd Farm, unattended.
A switch is a thin branch cut from a tree.
The boy sustained severe injuries, which resemble serious burns on both legs.
Nhamo Katsukunya allegedly went into hiding after he realised that he had left his son in a critical condition.
When The Herald visited Emmanuel Katsukunya at Marondera Provincial Hospital where he is admitted, the boy was writhing in agony as he nursed the wounds.
His mother, Tryness Thomas, cut a distraught figure as she tried to come to terms with the horror attack.
She is failing to buy medication and she is afraid to go home as rumour had it that her husband was threatening to kill her.
“Emmanuel was at our garden when his friend asked to be accompanied to the grazing area to look for lost cattle,” said Ms Thomas.
“Emmanuel agreed and left the garden unattended.
“The father went to check on Emmanuel at the garden and saw that he had left the garden unattended. He then went to the grazing area to look for the boy and when Emmanuel saw his father approaching the grazing area, he knew he was in trouble and immediately returned to the garden.
“Upon arrival, he saw his father waiting for him with 10 switches which he used to brutally assault him.”
Ms Thomas said when her husband told her that he had disciplined Emmanuel, she took it lightly, but later learnt that the boy had been badly injured.
“Emmanuel refused to have dinner that night and went to sleep,” she said.
“The next morning, I discovered that the child could not stand on his feet. When the father commanded him to stand up, he fell on his back.
“My husband realised Emmanuel’s condition was bad and he immediately fled from the scene and went into hiding.”
Ms Thomas said she sought help from local health personnel who then reported the matter to police who failed to locate the father.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the boy had been left almost paralysed.
“If anyone has information that could lead to the arrest of the accused, they should contact the nearest police station,” he said.