By Mejury Magaya
A Shurugwi woman faked pregnancy, asked for a friend’s newborn baby and presented the infant to her boyfriend as their child before requesting money for the baby’s upkeep, a Shurugwi magistrate heard on Wednesday.
The woman, Netsai Mabuku (25) went on to demand money from her married boyfriend, Mr Decide Rusike.
The matter came to light when Mabuku returned the baby to her friend and later made a false report to the police that the baby had been kidnapped.
Police investigations later led to the arrest of Mabuku and her friend Juliet Nowa (27).
Mabuku and Nowa yesterday appeared before Mrs Sithabile Zungula facing charges of fraud and making a false police report.
They pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to one year imprisonment.
The prison term for both was wholly suspended on condition they restitute Mr Rusike more than $2 000 he paid Mabuku for the upkeep of the child and that they each perform 305 hours of community service at Shurugwi Magistrate Courts and Zvishavane District Hospital respectively.
The State case was that sometime in January last year, Mabuku told Mr Rusike that she was pregnant.
Mr Rusike bought clothes in preparation for the baby’s birth.
The court heard that Mabuku later told Mr Rusike that she had delivered a baby boy at Zvishavane District Hospital.
After some weeks, Mr Rusike later demanded to see the baby and Mabuku reportedly went on to ask for her friend’s six weeks old baby and presented the infant to Mr Rusike as theirs.
Nowa even called Mr Rusike and congratulated him for the newborn baby boy.
She further lied to him that Mabuku`s breasts were producing less milk and requested him to buy supplementary milk for the baby.
The court further heard that in October last year, the two women connived and demanded money to apply for a birth certificate from Rusike.
Mabuku later returned the baby to her mother and went and made a false report to the police that the baby had been kidnapped.
The baby was later found at Nowa’s homestead leading to the two’s arrest.
Mrs Bertha Boore prosecuted. The Chronicle