Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
A Gokwe woman has been slapped with an 18 months jail sentence after she stole a 6 month old baby with the intention of deceiving her South Africa based husband.
Maria Sibanda of Nyamazana Village under Chief Njelele was convicted by Gokwe magistrate Mr Hillary Ndlovu.
Sibanda will however serve twelve months of the sentence, after six months were set aside for 5 years on condition of good behavior.
Prosecuting, Ms Getrude Shoko told the court that on 5 June this year at Bomba Business Centre, the complainant Moreblessing Mutendeleki who is a vendor, was going about her business with her baby strapped to the back.
“The accused person approached the complainant under the pretense that she wanted to buy 3 buckets of sweet potatoes. Mutendeleki then unstrapped the baby from her back and put her in a dish to play while she packaged the goods,” said Shoko.
Sibanda then picked the baby up and started playing with her.
She then went into a nearby shop claiming she wanted to buy bread.
A few minutes later, Mutendeleki discovered that Sibanda had disappeared together with the child.
She alerted other vendors who embarked on a search to no avail leading to them making a police report.
On 8 June police detectives received a tip off that Sibanda had been seen at her house with the baby.
“Police detectives raided the house and found Sibanda with the baby leading to her arrest,” the court heard.
Upon being quizzed on her intentions, Sibanda said she wanted to deceive her South African based husband, Clayton Dingani that the baby was theirs.