By Freeman Razemba and Prosper Dembedza
The woman who allegedly kidnapped a child at Montagu Spar in Harare’s Avenues area recently, is reportedly looking after two more children aged five years and two-and-a-half years, who now need DNA tests.
Her 40-year-old husband, Gift Chemhuru of Motsi Village under Chief Chirau of Zvimba, has been arrested and remanded in custody to tomorrow, after the State applied for further detention to allow the investigating officer to go to Mutoko where the two children are hidden.
Chemhuru appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Judith Taruvinga facing kidnapping charges.
The kidnapped baby was found in Murombedzi, Zvimba, on Monday and police arrested Chemhuru, who was also wanted in connection with theft and motor vehicle offences.
His wife, Miriam Bwanali, escaped when the police arrived and detectives are still looking for her since she is the key suspect.
Sources close to the investigations yesterday said the two children, a boy and a girl, were located in Mutoko where Bwanali is alleged to have taken them for safekeeping at a relative’s homestead.
It is believed that the children were kidnapped while they were aged between three weeks and one-month-old.
Investigations are in full swing and a team of detectives from Harare was expected to leave the capital yesterday for Mutoko to locate the children.
Once located, the children are expected to be taken to the Department of Social Welfare while further investigations take place.
Police will then appeal to anyone missing their children to contact them. DNA testing will be done to verify who are the biological parents.
It is the State case that on September 24, the mother, Shani Charamanda (30), gave birth to a baby boy at Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital, Harare and she was discharged.
Four weeks later on October 22 Charamanda went to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where she wanted to see a doctor and have her blood pressure checked, but she failed to see him as he was not on duty.
It is alleged that on her way home, she met Bwanali inside the hospital yard and they started walking to Montagu Spar a few blocks away and while there, Bwanali offered to help carry the baby.
The court heard that Charamanda initially refused, but Bwanali insisted, resulting in the complainant giving in.
While in the shop, Bwanali allegedly gave the mother US$42 and a pack of pampers before telling her to join the queue and pay for them, and she complied.
The court heard that as the complainant approached the till, Bwanali slowly walked towards the door and fled with the child.
When Charamanda finished the transaction, she went outside to meet Bwanali, but could not locate Bwanali. She asked if anyone else had seen the woman, but no one could remember and then she found her bag was also missing with her wallet which had a Nokia mobile phone, US$2 and $45.
Charamanda then started crying, and was taken to Milton Park Police Station to report the matter.
On October 28, detectives interviewed the mother and revisited the scene and viewed CCTV footage showing Chemhuru committing the offence.
On November 2, police officers from Zvimba received information to the effect that members of the community in Motsi Village, Chief Chirau had apprehended Chemhuru for kidnapping a child.
Police went to the scene and arrested Chemhuru and later found the one-month old baby sleeping on the bed and discovered that Bwanali had escaped. The Herald