MWENEZI - A 34-year old Mwenezi woman from Gonyami Village under Chief Mawarire gave birth to a dead premature child and buried its corpse in a cave.
This was heard in the Mwenezi Magistrates’ Court during the trial of Ropafadzo Matare who was charged with Contravening Section 106 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 09:23 ‘Concealing birth of child’.
Matare pleaded guilty when she appeared before magistrate Honest Musiiwa last Wednesday and was sentenced to six months imprisonment, two of which were conditionally suspended. The remaining four months were set aside on condition she performed 140 hours of community service at Pambe Primary School.
Asked by magistrate Musiiwa why she committed the offence, Matare pleaded poverty.
“When I gave birth to my child she was already dead. Given the state of poverty at our homestead and upon weighing the costs of feeding mourners, I decided to bury my child alone. At our homestead, we completely have nothing,” Matare confessed in court.
Presented by prosecutor Willard Chasi, it was the State case that on November 14, 2019, Matare gave birth to a dead child. She took the corpse and went to a nearby mountain where she placed it inside a cave.
Upon being quizzed by some suspicious relatives who had realised that she was no longer pregnant, Matare opened up and a report was made to the police, leading to her arrest.
The child’s remains were retrieved from the cave and taken to Masvingo General Hospital for a post-mortem.
According to State papers, the cause of the child’s death could not be ascertained as the corpse was in an advanced state of decomposition.