• The woman accused her son, a Grade Four pupil of stealing money to buy food items in a nearby market.

• The boy revealed that he has not been getting enough food and would sometimes sleep on an empty stomach.

Crime scene
Image: Courtesy

Cops in Ndhiwa have arrested and questioned a woman for burning the hands of her nine-year-old son for allegedly stealing money.

The woman accused her son, a Grade Four pupil of stealing money to buy food items in a nearby market.

Neighbours who know the family said the boy has been facing starvation since the woman got a new husband after the boy's father died.

“The boy probably stole the money to buy food because sometimes his mother denies him food. The woman loves the new husband more than her son,” a neighbour said.

When she was arrested on Tuesday, the woman told police officers that the boy stole even from their neighbours despite several warnings.

The arrest came after security officers received information that the woman locked the boy indoors after burning his hands for allegedly stealing Sh50.

The burning incident occurred on Thursday last week.

Lower Kayambo location chief Cyprian Obonyo said they arrested the woman and took her to Ndhiwa police station.

The woman has a one-month-old baby she bore with the man who inherited her.

“A neighbour informed me about the incident and we responded immediately. His colleagues revealed to a neighbour that the boy is kept inside their house after being burnt for stealing money,” Obonyo said.

At the police station, the boy said that his mother tied his hands using a piece of cloth and poured kerosene before setting them on fire.

The boy revealed that he has not been getting enough food and would sometimes sleep on an empty stomach.

When contacted, Ndhiwa ward commanding officer (OCS) Evans Mosota said they took the victim to Ndhiwa subcounty Hospital for medical care.

He said they interrogated the mother and released her to take care of her newborn child.

“We couldn’t lock her in the cells because she is lactating. But we’ll be monitoring her and we plan to charge her in court,” Mosota said.

On Wednesday, Mosota said they are in talks with sub county children officer John Kabasa to take the boy to a children’s home.

“We fear the boy cannot stay with his mother,” he said.

Kabasa said they are going to take legal action against the woman because the allegations she is levelling against the boy were not reported to any relevant government agencies.

He said punishing a child by burning his or her hands is a criminal act.

“Parents should not inflict pain on children to the extent of causing bodily harm. There should always be a dialogue between parents and children as a way of offering in-house counselling,” Kabasa said.

According to the children's officer, children who steal could be lacking things that their parents fail to offer them.

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