Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Woman Who Buried Alive Newly-Born Baby Spare Jail

A MASVINGO woman escaped jail Friday after Masvingo regional magistrate Sibonginkosi Mkandla gave her a wholly suspended sentence for burying her newly-born baby alive.

Grace Chikwati, 30, of Mushandike had been charged with infanticide after burying the baby alive in a bid to conceal an extra-marital affair from her South Africa-based husband.

She was convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment which was wholly suspended for five years on condition that she does not commit any crime relating to infanticide.

The state case was that on May 12 Chikwati gave birth to a baby girl and immediately after recovering from labour, took the baby and buried her alive on the banks of Chinjekewe River.

On May 15, Chikwati’s uncle only identified as Mutare discovered that she was no longer pregnant but did not have a baby and started asking questions.

Realising that Chikwati could not give a clear answer, Mutare informed another family member Pesanai Chimunhu on the development and they both confronted Chikwati on the whereabouts of the baby.

Chikwati later confessed to have buried the baby and she led the two to the river where they found the baby still alive.

They baby was rushed to Masvingo Rural Police Station where they reported the case and the police referred the baby to Masvingo General Hospital for attention where it later died.

The medical report produced in court confirmed that the baby vomited muddy water, coughed and died.

Prosecutor Fidelis Nyamukondiwa submitted that Chikwati was in a very distressed state, despite carefully meditating the crime.

In mitigation, Chikwati told the court that she has three young children to take care of and got depressed when her husband left for South Africa with no idea of how to take care of them and the father of the newly-born baby had also disappeared.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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