Baby thief in court
By Prosper Dembedza
The Harare woman, who had almost succeeded in stealing a newly-born baby at Epworth Polyclinic this week, has appeared in court on a charge of kidnapping the baby.
Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi remanded Christina Gwashavanhu (35), who is of no fixed abode, in custody and advised her to apply for bail at the High Court.
The court heard that Gwashavanhu committed the offence on June 23 but was apprehended before she could make off with the baby from the clinic.
Commenting on the incident, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “We urge institutions like hospitals and clinics to step up their security measures and avoid such incidents.”
A video clip has since gone viral in which the woman was captured being interrogated by staff at the clinic.
A similar incident happened last year when a Zvimba woman kidnapped a child outside Montagu Spar in Harare’s Avenues area.
The suspect, Mirriam Bwanali is still at large while her 40-year-old husband, Gift Chemhuru of Motsi Village under Chief Chirau of Zvimba, was arrested and is currently on remand.
On September 24, 2020, the mother, Shani Charamanda (30), gave birth to a baby boy at Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital, Harare, and she was discharged.
And on October 22, 2020, Charamanda went to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where she wanted to see a doctor for medical review.
On her way home, she met Bwanali inside the hospital yard and they walked to Montagu Spar a few blocks away. 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.
Bwanali allegedly fled with the child when Charamanda went into the supermarket.
She also took with her, a wallet belonging to Charamanda which had money, and a Nokia mobile phone.
Charamanda reported the matter at Milton Park Police Station.
Closed Circuit Television footage showed Chemhuru committing the offence.
On November 2, police officers from Zvimba received information that members of the community in Motsi Village under Chief Chirau, had apprehended Chemhuru for kidnapping the baby.
Police went to his house and arrested Chemhuru and later found the one-month old baby sleeping on a bed but Bwanali escaped. The Herald