350 hours community service for abortion

A 24-year-old Matobo woman, who aborted her pregnancy and dumped the foetus in a pit latrine, heaved a sigh of relief this week after her 12-month jail term was wholly suspended on condition she performs 350 hours of community service.

BY SILAS NKALA

Talent Siwela had pleaded guilty to unlawful termination of pregnancy when she appeared before Kezi magistrate, Kozanai Arafat on Tuesday.

The magistrate convicted and sentenced her to 12 months’ imprisonment before two months were suspended on condition of good behaviour, while the rest was wholly suspended on condition she performs 350 hours of community service at Phumugwe Clinic.

In sentencing her, the court considered that she was a first offender and sole breadwinner for her other young child.

Prosecutor Smart Tafireyi told the court that sometime in February this year, Siwela aborted her pregnancy using a concoction of traditional herbs and dumped the foetus in a pit latrine.

Neighbours later alerted her mother, who in turn reported her to the police, and medical tests conducted at the United Bulawayo Hospitals confirmed that she had aborted.

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