A 21-year old woman from Mahatshula North suburb in Bulawayo has appeared in court facing charges of dumping her six-month-old baby at her late boyfriend’s mother’s place amid allegations that the latter was refusing to maintain the child.
It is reported that Silondokuhle Tshuma, after abandoning her child at her “mother-in-law” Khawulani Mdlongwa’s house in Cowdray Park suburb, the latter ordered her 18-year-old son to take the child and dump her by the roadside.
For their uncouth conduct Mdlongwa and Tshuma appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Shepherd Mjanja facing a charge of exposing an infant.
They both pleaded guilty to the charge. Tshuma was sentenced to 10 months in prison and five months of her jail package were suspended for three years on condition of good behaviour.
The remaining five months were suspended on condition that she completes 175 hours of community service.
Mdlongwa was also spared jail agony when she was sentenced to 12 months in prison and six months of the sentence were suspended for three years on condition of good behaviour.
The remaining six months were suspended on condition that she also completes 210 hours of unpaid labour.
The court heard that on 6 November 2022 and at around 2pm, Tshuma went to Mdlongwa’s place and left her child on the sofa and went out.
Mdlongwa tried to follow her but she had already gone.
Mdlongwa then ordered her 18-year-old son to take the child and place her by the roadside.
The boy followed his mother’s instructions when he took the child and went outside the yard and placed it by the roadside near Mandaba Sibanda’s house.
It is reported that at around 3pm, Sibanda was informed by her son that there was a baby which had been dumped outside their house.
When Sibanda went outside to check, she found the baby wrapped in a white towel and she had bruises on her left eye.
Sibanda took the baby and advised her neighbours who instructed her to take the child to the residents chairperson who then directed her to take the child to the police.
After the child had been handed over to the police, Mdlongwa handed herself to the police leading to her arrest.
She later implicated Tshuma also leading to her arrest. —B Metro