By Walter Mswazie
A 27-YEAR-OLD Masvingo woman allegedly sold her three year-old daughter to a South African based syndicate that uses children as beggars at busy traffic intersections.
Grana Chiondegwa (27) of Village 11 A, Mushandike Resettlement allegedly struck a deal to receive R300 every month from the syndicate in return for having her daughter exploited in the neighbouring country.
Chiondegwa told a court on Tuesday that she was forced to give the child away after her husband Tinashe Mutombeni deserted her and her five children.
She allegedly gave the minor to Ivy Chepiri (28) to facilitate the deal.
Appearing before Chivi resident magistrate Ms Perseverance Mukumba recently facing charges of human trafficking, Chiondegwa and Chepiri were not asked to plead.
They were remanded in custody to March 11 for trial.
Prosecutor Mr Nixon Chamisa said sometimes in January this year Chiondegwa allegedly approached her church mate, Olinda Munodawafa (33) of Mashava and revealed that she could not fend for her four children.
She told her friend that she had no means to get food and school fees for the children.
The court heard that Munodawafa advised her to link up with Chepiri, also known as Mai Gidza who would take the minor to South Africa for the purposes of begging at robots in return for some money every month.
“Munodawafa took the girl to Mai Gidza who is based in Shurugwi. Munodawafa stayed with the girl from January to last week for familiarisation before she could proceed to her final destination in South Africa,” said Mr Chamisa.
The court was told that Chiondegwa who was promised R300 every month, was in constant contact with Mai Gidza over the arrangement on WhatsApp platform. The WhatsApp chats will be produced in court as exhibit.
Sometime last week, police in Chivi received a tip off from villagers that Chiondegwa had given away her daughter to a stranger leading to her arrest.
Chiondegwa revealed that her daughter was staying with Mai Gidza in Shurugwi.
After interrogation, Mai Gidza admitted that she was staying with the minor for familiarisation before she was taken to South Africa.
The court heard that she also revealed that the deal had been facilitated by Munodawafa who has since been arrested.
“Such practice is common at Bere Compound in Mashava where parents are allegedly sending their children to South Africa for begging,” said Mr Chamisa. The Chronicle