Girl gets 12 months probabtion for dumping baby
Written by Millennium on July 29, 2019
MULENGA MUSONDA writes
AN EIGHTEEN year old girl has been put on 12 Months’ Probation for dumping her newly born baby for fear that her mother would stop her from going to school if she discovered she had a child.
This is in a matter where a Grade 10 pupil of Mwapona Compound in Choma pleaded guilty to Child Negligence in the Choma Juvenile Court contrary to section 168 chapter 87 of the Penal Code of the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence are that on 26th June 2019 the juvenile offender being a parent and capable, failed to provide food, clothes, care and support to the child below 16 thereby injuring its health.
When the matter came up for Facts and Social Welfare Report, Public Prosecutor Catherine Sakala told the Court that the infant was picked up by a Good Samaritan Selina Phiri after 20:00 hours after her children mistook the cries for that of a cat.
Phiri later took the child to the Police before she was referred to Choma General Hospital for treatment as the baby had succumbed to cold temperature.
And according to the report presented by Ruth Mulenga Chanda a Probation Officer from Social Welfare Department, the girl delivered in the morning of 26th June 2019 in her bedroom without any help from anyone, and managed to tie the umbilical cord and cleaned the room.
“In the evening when she told her mother that she was bleeding, the mother never paid attention. At night when she thought her mother was fast asleep she wrapped the newly born baby in a coat and dumped it at a house a kilometer away knowing that someone would come to its rescue,” Chanda said
Chanda said when she interviewed the girl; she expressed interest in going back to school. She further said the girl’s action was as a result of some psychological problem as she comes from a broken home and at some point ran away for some months just to live with the father of her child.
She said there was a lack of communication in the family as there is no way a mother of five would fail to notice that her daughter was pregnant. She therefore recommended that the girl be kept at Choma Correctional facility for sometime as she undergoes Counseling.
In passing sentence Resident Magistrate Ethel Phiri said her action was that of an immature child who lacked parental guidance. She has since placed her on 12 months’ probation and Counseling.