December 15, 2023

Woman jailed for killing newly-born baby

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Court Correspondent

A married woman who gave birth secretly and suffocated the baby in a cloth at Belvedere Teachers’ College has been jailed for an effective six months.

Theresia Makaka (42) was convicted of infanticide by Harare magistrate Mrs Ethel Chichera who initially sentenced her to nine months imprisonment, but suspended three months on condition of future good behaviour.

The matter was reported to the police by Makaka’s husband David Ngonidzashe Dera who had been informed of what had happened by their daughter.

Prosecutor Mr Tinotenda Masimba proved that on May 13 this year at around 3pm at Belvedere Teacher’s College staff quarters, Makaka was doing laundry with her daughter Mishel Dera.

She started complaining about stomach pains and went to rest in her bedroom where she gave birth alone. She wrapped the child in a maroon fleece blanket and hid it under some dirty laundry which was placed in a dish.

Her husband came home after being called by his daughter Mishel informing him her mother was in pain.

Dera arrived home and discovered the infant’s dead body wrapped in the maroon fleece blanket and reported his wife to police.

The infant’s body was taken to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals for post mortem.

The court heard that on July 8, a post mortem was done by a doctor who confirmed the cause of the baby’s death as asphyxiation.

 

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