Toddler falls into neighbour’s well

A Dangamvura man who dug a well at his house after the local authority disconnected his water supply over non-payment of bills has been dragged to court by his neighbour for endangering the lives of children.

The man was only identified as Allen in court papers.

Tragedy almost struck after a child fell into Allen’s unprotected well.

The mother of the child, Ellen Mwareke, responded to the incident by applying for a peace order against Allen.

Mwareke said the well should be sealed off.

However, Allen refused to do so, highlighting that the well is his only source of water.

“Allen’s water supply was disconnected over non-payment of bills. He would come to my place and get water from there. He later dug a well right next to the water meter after tampering with it. Water is now gushing out of the main line non-stop, filling up the well which is now a death trap to our children.

“My daughter recently crawled and fell into the well.

“She was playing outside when the incident happened. She was saved by school children on their way home. I have been asking Allen to seal the well, but he refuses. He claims that he has the right to do as he pleases at his house,” said Mwareka.

She said ever since she reported Allen to Mutare City Council, he has been insulting and threatening her.

“I reported him to Mutare City Council, but no follow-ups were made. I informed him of my decision to make a report at Mutare City Council and all hell broke loose. He comes to my house shouting during the night and calls me profane names. My husband is always at work and comes home during weekends,” said Mwareka.

“He is accusing me of practicing witchcraft. He says I am a snitch since l reported him to the local authority for tampering with the water meter.

“He bangs my doors and windows every night. I do not have peace and my children are not spared as well. Last week, he beat them up for passing by his house,” said Mwareka.

In response, Allan admitted that there is animosity between him and his neighbour, but denied that the well is the source of the feud.

“I reprimanded her child for stealing my sugarcane. She is bitter because of that. She does not want her children to be reprimanded, yet they steal from neighbours. Recently, her son stole a cellphone. It was recovered from her house.

“All along l have only been trying to help her since her husband is never home. Her husband asked me to look after his family in his absence, but the children’s mother is spoiling them. She shields them whenever they steal,” said Allan.

He also said Mwareka hides her bad character under a church garment.

“She is not a good woman. She goes to church but she is heartless. We used to go to church together but I have since stopped because of her bad behaviour.

“Her child fell into the well and she rushed to reported the matter to Mutare City Council before engaging me,” he said.

Allan said he is worried that his vegetable nursery will be affected by shortage of water if the well is sealed off.

The presiding magistrate, Mr Xavier Chipato, granted the peace order in Mwareka’s favour.

-Manica Post

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