A 29-YEAR-OLD Chegutu farm labourer told the court on Monday that she dumped her newly-born child in a toilet pit because she could not provide for the baby after her boyfriend had denied responsibility for the pregnancy.
Muchaneta Chadada of Coburn Estates, Chegutu, was sentenced to a wholly suspended 12-month jail term by Kadoma magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba after she pleaded guilty to infanticide.
In passing sentence, Gwazemba said Chadada deserved a lengthy custodial term because of her conduct, but had been saved by the fact that she had two other minor children to look after.
According to a postmortem report, the baby died due to suffocation.
In mitigation, Chadada told the court that poverty drove her to commit the offence, adding the man who impregnated her disappeared when she was two-months pregnant hence she had no choice, but to kill the child as she could not fend for the enlarged family.
State counsel Wayne Togara told the court that on September 6 this year, Chadada gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and shoved the infant into a pit latrine at the farm compound.
After a while, Chadada approached her supervisor Albert Makozho and informed him that she was suffering from stomach pains and was given money for medication, but she did not visit the hospital.
The baby was retrieved from the toilet pit the following day by fellow farm workers, but died on admission to hospital.