Mai Chisamba, thank you so much for this platform. A lot of people are going through hardships and the truth is we relate with most of the issues that come out in your column.Towards the end of September this year, some of my husband’s shirts and a few other things went missing. The suspect was the maid because she is the only stranger who has access to our closet and the whole house.I'M BEING THREATENED BY SMALL HOUSE

Our two teenage children denied any knowledge of this. We gave the maid two options – either to pay for the missing things or take her to the police. She broke down and pleaded with us that paying was a better option even though she is innocent.

Being a maid, the only payment plan was to let her go for three months without pay. My husband felt sorry for her and suggested we fire her and forget about it. I was so angry I wanted to teach her a lesson. I said she should pay vana sisi vanojaira kufamba vachiba.We did not pay her for October and November and she wrote me a letter saying she never stole the items but would never go away before her innocence was proven. In the first week of December we went to my husband’s rural home for a wedding.

We got the shock of our lives when we found babamudiki, my hubby’s younger brother akapfeka one of the shirts. To cut a long story short, my mother-in-law took these things when she passed through our home in September, kuba chaiko. She said she took the shirts because takaomera and there was nothing wrong about what she did because they were both her sons and that I should keep out of this.

We have punished sisi unnecessarily, should we tell her the truth? How do we pay her for the two months? What do we do with amai? Kunyara kunokunda kufa. Please help.

MAI CHISAMBA RESPONDS

Thank you for writing in, I think the column is helpful indeed because people can now confess the truth and seek advice instead of partaking in the usual blame game. I understand your anger. You felt let down by sisi who you had entrusted with your family home. But even in anger we should try and reason as adults, you suspected the maid was the culprit but the measures you took were very drastic. You spoke about a payment plan but you did not put one in place.

If you wanted to be fair the maid should at least have had a say about the plan. Taking everything from a maid for three consecutive months is inhuman, as a fellow woman you did not even care whether she had money left to buy basic provisions needed in every woman’s life. In your case it was actually your husband who felt sorry for sisi and wanted to set her free, vasikana ngatisadarano.The fact that she wanted to continue working should have shown you that she was desperate.

When things go missing the first people to call should be the police.

Had you done that, they could have investigated the matter and even questioned the visitors who came to your home around that time. It is unfortunate the maid made it look suspicious by refusing to go to the police, vana sisi vanorarama hupenyu hwakaoma akangotya.

Even if she saw gogo taking these things I do not think she would say, maybe she was threatened who knows. My advice is please do the noble thing, tell sisi the whole truth and apologise. Please give what belongs to her in full, you can even advance the December pay. Saka manga mave kumutorerawo nekamari ke Christmas kese since three months dzanga dzichipera after?

You may lose this maid if you do not handle this well because once there is a question of mistrust you are bound to have problems. For amai please have a small indaba in the company of her brother or sister, kuba kwakashata.

Just imagine if you had engaged the police, this was going to be very embarrassing. People should always ask, it is wrong to just assume that when you are the mother you can do whatever, imba yemuroora inoremekedzwa.

I said you should include amai’s siblings in your talks so that she does not twist the facts or say ndakatukwa. Last but not least I just want to say mukugumbuka nemukutadzirwa ngatisarase hunhu hwedu. I wish you all the best.

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