Kapiri mother gets 12 months for child desertion

Written by on July 28, 2020

A 27year-old woman of Turn-off area in Kapiri Mposhidistrict has been sentenced to 12 months simple imprisonment for child desertion.

And a 37-year-old woman has been convicted and fined K1, 500 or in default six months simple imprisonment for concealing the birth of a baby.

Before Kapiri Mposhi magistrate Brenda Chiganda was Theresa Mulenga, who stood charged with one count of child desertion contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars before court alleged that on dates unknown, but between June 10 and June 15 2020, Mulenga being a parent to a month old baby did leave the infant at the residence of Barbara Enita of Kapiri Mposhi’s Turn-off area without her knowledge and secretly left for Mansa district, Luapulaprovince.   

The court heard that Zambia Police officers in collaboration with the department of Social Welfare later managed to apprehend Mulenga and ferried her back to Kapiri Mposhi.

After presentation of facts before court, Mulenga said the said facts were true and correct.

But Kapiri Mposhi senior public prosecutor Michael Sakalaargued that the now convict had no lawful justification to desert the one month old child.  

And in mitigation, Mulenga asked the court to exercise lenience on her saying she decided to abandon her one-month old child because her family was not supportive to the child while the man she had a child with had continuously exhibited some elements of irresponsibility towards the infant.

But passing judgement in the matter, magistrate Chigandaobserved that Mulenga was a first offender who had readily admitted the charge and deserved lenience from the court.

However, Magistrate Chiganda was quick to state that in order to deter would-be offenders the court had the responsibility to mete out a custodial sentence on Mulenga.

The magistrate  then slapped a 12 months suspended sentence on Mulenga.

And a 37-year-old woman who has been appearing in the Kapiri Mposhi Magistrates court for allegedly concealing the birth of a baby has been convicted and fined K1, 500 in default six months simple imprisonment.

This is in the case where Prudence Musonda, a businesswoman of Riverside Compound in Kapiri Mposhi is alleged to have given birth to a child which she later secretly disposed of.

Musonda was appearing before Kapiri Mposhi Magistrate Brenda Chiganda.

Particulars of the offence were that on May13, 2020, Musonda being four months pregnant unexpectedly delivered a still born child whose body she secretly disposed of to conceal its birth.

The offence is contrary to Section 220 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Musonda had pleaded not guilty to the offence.

In this matter , the Prosecution called six witnesses who testified that Musonda was four months pregnant but her pregnancy suddenly disappeared.

At the closure of the prosecution case, magistrate Chigandaruled that the State had established a prima facie case against Musonda and, subsequently, placed her on her defence. 

When she opened her defence, Musonda told the court that the baby had dropped off  from her womb as she was answering the call of nature in a Latrine. 

Testifying in the matter, Musonda said on May 13, 2020 around 01:00 she felt abdominal pains and when she answered the call of nature “something” from her womb dropped in the latrine.

She, however, said that what she noticed was not a baby, but clots of blood adding that this made her conclude that she had a miscarriage.  

Musonda maintained that she did not know how it feels to give birth as she had never given birth , before.

A search for the baby in the said toilet and soak-away by Council Fire Brigade and Police officers on May 15, 2020 yielded nothing, she told the court.

Delivering judgment in the matter, Magistrate Chigandaobserved that the prosecution had proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt against Musonda.

In mitigation, Musonda asked the court to exercise lenience on her saying she was looking after two orphaned children left by her deceased siblings.

But Magistrate Chiganda stated that failure to present oneself before health personnel after a self-induced abortion was tantamount to concealing the birth of a child.

Magistrate Chiganda then fined Musonda K1, 500 or in default six months simple imprisonment.


Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current track