By Loveness Mpofu
A 24-year-old woman from Fumugwe in Matobo District is lucky to have escaped a 12-month jail term after a court found her guilty of aborting a three-month-old foetus, which she dumped in a Blair toilet.
Talent Siwela of Phumuzamaphiko Village in Fumugwe intentionally ingested an abortifacient of a local flower, to terminate the pregnancy. Siwela, who is also a mother of a young child, defended her actions saying the father of her unborn child was a polygamist who denied responsibility of the pregnancy.
She pleaded guilty when she appeared before Kezi magistrate Mr Kozanai Arafat on Wednesday last week facing a charge of unlawful termination of pregnancy. The magistrate sentenced her to 12 months imprisonment of which two months were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour while the remaining 10 months were wholly suspended on condition she performs 350 hours of community service at Fumugwe Clinic.
For the State, Mr Smart Tafireyi said the court considered that Siwela was a first time offender and has another young child to cater for, hence community service was the most appropriate sentence. Mr Tafireyi told the court that sometime in February, Siwela ingested an abortifacient of a local flower. Soon after, she had serious stomach pains and started bleeding.
She then delivered a foetus in a bucket, which she disposed of in a pit latrine. The court heard that word started circulating in the village that Siwela had terminated her pregnancy resulting in her uncle informing her mother who then interviewed her.
Siwela revealed that she had aborted her three months pregnancy. Her mother reported the matter to the police. Siwela was referred to the United Bulawayo Hospitals for medical examination and compilation of medical report. The medical report was produced before the court as evidence. The Sunday News