A 29-year-old 'Wasu' from Tegwe Village under Chief Mutasa in Manicaland, who made headlines last month when he circumcised his two minor children with a nail-cutter, was sentenced to six months in prison.

The sentence was wholly suspended on condition that 'Wasu' performs 210 hours of community service at Hauna District Hospital.

Peter Nyashega pleaded with the courts for a lighter sentence saying the children were in his custody.

In his defence, Nyashega said he cut his children's foreskin because it was their culture that male children should be circumcised by their parents at an early age.

"I acted as per our culture Your Worship, though I erred in using a nail-cutter. I also admit that I erred when I beat up my children, but they had lost the only money we had in the house which was meant to buy maize-meal," said Nyashega.

Nyashega's brother, Patrick Nyashega (38), who testified in court, said he had been keeping a close eye on his brother since he suspected that he was in the habit of abusing his children.

"Your Worship, when I could not see his eldest child (5) for four days, I then told my sister who lives in Hauna and she came with the police to search for him.

"When the police came they found him locked in the kitchen with scars all over his body and he told the police that his father had used a nail-cutter to circumcise him and his younger brother (2)," said Patrick.

In sentencing him, Mr Poterai Gwezhira said Nyashega had acted illegally and primitively, taking into consideration that provincial hospitals in Zimbabwe were offering free circumcision services.
 
"I will be lenient with you because you did not waste the court's time. However, you committed a serious offence which should not go unpunished; said Mr Gwezhira.

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