Woman jailed 12 months for dump­ing paral­ysed daugh­ter

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu Plumtree Cor­re­spon­dent

A 26-YEAR-OLD Bulil­ima woman has been jailed af­ter she dumped her six-year-old paral­ysed daugh­ter at the home­stead of her 90-year-old bed-rid­den grand­fa­ther re­sult­ing in the death of the child.

Tsenulo Tsha­bangu of Nope­mano area was con­victed on her own plea of guilty to ex­pos­ing an in­fant by Plumtree mag­is­trate, Mr Joshua Mawere last week.

She dumped her child at her grand­fa­ther’s home and the child died a week later as the old man could not look af­ter her.

She was sen­tenced to 12 months im­pris­on­ment and six months were sus­pended on con­di­tion that she does not com­mit a sim­i­lar of­fence in the next five years. The re­main­ing six months were fur­ther sus­pended on con­di­tion that she per­forms 210 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice at Tje­hanga Pri­mary School.

In her mit­i­ga­tion Tsha­bangu said she aban­doned her daugh­ter as she was strug­gling to look af­ter her.

“I had two chil­dren who were both phys­i­cally chal­lenged Your Wor­ship, the first one be­ing the de­ceased and the other is six months old. I told my grand­fa­ther that I wanted to send the eldest child to her fa­ther’s home­stead in Lu­pane area but he re­fused say­ing I can’t leave my child there as the fa­ther had not paid the bride price.

“I was strug­gling to look af­ter both chil­dren alone given their con­di­tion. They were both de­pen­dant on me for ev­ery­thing and this was strain­ing me. That’s why I left my child at my grand­par­ent’s home but I didn’t think that she would later die,” she said.

Pros­e­cut­ing, Mr Zorodzai Pen­gapenga said Tsha­bangu dumped her child at her grand­par­ent’s home in a hut on 25 Au­gust around 8pm and went away with­out in­form­ing her grand­fa­ther.

“On 25 Au­gust Tsha­bangu ar­rived at her grand­par­ent’s home around 8pm and left her six-year-old phys­i­cally chal­lenged daugh­ter in a hut that she used to sleep in but didn’t in­form her grand­fa­ther who is bed-rid­den and went away. Her grand­fa­ther Mr Le­muhani Dube later heard the noise of a cry­ing child com­ing from one of his huts in the mid­dle of the night and went to in­quire. He found his great grand­daugh­ter ly­ing on the floor alone,” said Mr Pen­gapenga.

He said af­ter a week the child died as his great grand­fa­ther was fail­ing to feed her be­cause of his old age. The mat­ter was re­ported to the po­lice, re­sult­ing in Tsha­bangu’s ar­rest.

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