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A baby is at the centre of a paternity stand-off involving two Harare families.

Each family seems to have valid claims over the child who has been resident at Shungu Dzevana Trust in Harare’s Hatfield suburb after the police picked him up from a local church where he was reportedly abandoned.

Both families are claiming that the baby, who is about 10 months old, was stolen from them last year by a stranger.

Since then the two families have been haggling over the paternity of the boy. However, anxious moments for one of the families are finally over after police on Friday said the paternity test results were out.

Sister Mercy Mutyambizi, the director of Shungu Dzevana’s Children Home told The Standard that police had confirmed that the paternity results were available.

“I got a message from the police saying that the paternity results were finally out and that the department of social welfare was now handling the issue,” she said.

Mutyambizi said although she did not yet know who the real parents of the boy were, information from the police had indicated that one of them had passed the tests.

Giving a bit of background to the story which has attracted a lot of public interest, she said the baby was brought to the children’s home by police.

“The baby was brought here by the police and I really never got the finer details as to what actually transpired. However, two families later came claiming that they were the parents of the boy,” she said.

One of the women claiming to be the baby’s mother is Natasha Chako of Unit M, Chitungwiza whose week-old baby boy was stolen by an unknown woman around the Gulf Shopping Mall area in Harare last June.

According to police reports at the time, Chako — who had not been feeling well on the day in question — was at Harare Central Hospital when she met the woman who pretended to be a Good Samaritan and offered to carry the baby.

The two women went into town together and on their way, the woman told Chako that she wanted to pass through the Gulf to “collect” some money.

She duped Chako by giving her some money to go and buy some food while she remained behind with the baby. That was the last time that Chako was to see her little boy.

However, not much is known about the other family but according to Mutyambizi, the parents also came to the home to inspect the baby.

Without mentioning which family, Mutyambizi said one of the mothers however initially said the baby was not hers after inspecting him.

“But I think after pressure from her family she later changed her story and asked for another inspection,” she said.

“And then the other family came and before the inspection they managed to identify all the birth marks and other features on the baby.

“The grandmother even managed to pick out the boy from among several other babies but we told them to wait for the paternity test results.”

The police detail in charge of the case, Detective William Bango was reluctant to comment on the matter.

“I am the one in charge of the case but as is the procedure, I’m not at liberty to comment on the matter,” Bango.

He referred all questions to police spokesperson, senior assistant commissioner, Charity Charamba, whose mobile phone went unanswered.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard