A Zimbabwean teenager who gave birth to a baby and gave in to persuasion from her boyfriend that they should bury it in a shallow grave was last week sent to jail for 18 months after she was found guilty of concealing birth.
Naomi Dube, 18, who already has another child, pleaded guilty to the offence begged Senior Magistrate Peggy Hamoonga to be lenient on her because her boyfriend, who influenced her to commit the crime, had deserted her and was nowhere to be found.
Gerald Police arrested Dube on March 8 after receiving a tip off that she had abandoned her baby along the railway line after giving birth.
Dube would later admit to the police that she had given birth to a baby boy and went on to say that her boyfriend later buried the baby in a hole. She then led the police to the place where the baby was buried at which the police recovered a corpse of a male infant.
“The accused and the baby were taken to Nyangabwe Hospital, where doctors certified the baby dead and also certified that the accused had delivered a baby recently,” states the fact sheet.
Facing the stern glare of an unwavering Hamoonga, Dube burst into tears when mitigating as she stated that she had another child in Zimbabwe.
She said that she had left her school-going child in Zimbabwe and she does not know who is taking care of him as she has been incarcerated since March.
Dube also told the court that she was enticed by her overbearing boyfriend to bury the baby against her wishes and she did not perform the actual burial. She added that she never saw her boyfriend again after he buried the baby.
“I did not bury my child and I was not even there. He went alone to bury the baby and later returned to describe the spot to me. That is why I was able to show the police where the baby was buried,” she said adding there was no way she could willingly bury her child as most people knew that she was pregnant.
Dube pleaded with the court to be lenient on her and not send her back to jail as her child was suffering back in Zimbabwe.
Passing sentence, Hamoonga said that Dube had committed a serious offence that carries a minimum sentence of two years. She also said that she had taken into account that the accused is a first offender and she was remorseful as she had pleaded guilty to the charge. She sentenced Dube to 18 months in prison starting from the day that she was first arrested in March.