The Zimbabwe Republic Police is in the process of engaging the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to assist in tracking down Miriam Bwanali, who allegedly kidnapped a child at Montagu Spar in Harare’s Avenues area recently.
The baby was found in Murombedzi, Zvimba, and police arrested her husband Gift Chemhuru, who was also wanted in connection with theft and motor vehicle offences.
Bwanali managed to escape during the police raid and skipped the country to South Africa.
Chemhuru was arrested and remanded in custody by Harare magistrate Mrs Judith Taruvinga on kidnapping charges.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said there were unconfirmed reports that Bwanali was in South Africa.
“There are suspicions that she might be in South Africa, but we are still carrying out investigations,” he said.
“If it is confirmed that she is there, then we will engage Interpol to assist us in tracking her down.”
Bwanali was also implicated in the kidnapping of two other children, a boy and a girl, who were rescued in Mutoko where she was 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. A team of detectives from Harare located the children in Mutoko and has since taken them to the Department of Social Welfare.
On the Montagu kidnapping case 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 to see her doctor and have her blood pressure checked, but she failed to do so since he was not on duty.
It is alleged that on her way home, she met Bwanali inside the hospital yard and they started walking towards Montagu Spar and Bwanali offered to help carry the baby.
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 her.
She also realised that her bag containing her wallet, which had a Nokia mobile phone, US$2 and $45, was gone.
Charamanda then started crying, and was taken to Milton Park Police Station to report the matter.
Police used CCTV footage to identify Bwanali before they were tipped off of her whereabouts. The Herald