A FORM Six pupil at Hwange High School has been sentenced to an effective six months in jail after she gave birth at home and dumped the baby near a stream.
Barbara Munenge (20), who stays with her mother in Lwendulu Village in Hwange appeared in court for concealing the birth of a child, two years after she was sentenced to a wholly suspended eight months jail term for terminating a pregnancy.
The previous jail term was suspended on condition that she does not commit a similar case within five years. This time around, she was lucky not to have the suspended eight months brought into effect because the current charge was technically different from the first one as she was charged with concealing the birth of a child.
In the latest case, Munenge gave birth at night while at home on Saturday last week.
She wrapped the baby with a cloth and put it in a satchel before dumping it near a sewer stream in a bush near the suburb.
It is not clear if the baby was alive but police only found the head when they attended the scene and it is suspected that the body was eaten by dogs or crocodiles.
Police arrested Munenge following a tip-off through an anonymous letter. She pleaded guilty to concealing the birth of a child when she appeared before Hwange magistrate Ms Rangarirai Gakanje who slapped her with an effective six months in jail. In mitigation, Munenge said she dumped the baby because the person responsible for the pregnancy had denied responsibility.
“The person who made me pregnant had promised to marry me. He used that to convince me into unprotected sex and then he denied responsibility so I had no option because I stay with my mother who is not employed and cannot take care of my baby,” said Munenge.
Prosecuting, Mr John Chisango Mutyakaviri said the head was taken to the mortuary waiting for postmortem.
He said police received an anonymous letter on June 6 that the 20-year-old had committed a crime leading to her arrest after investigations. She led police to the site where she had dumped the baby and the head was found.