|Ransom demand gives away baby snatcher|
|Tuesday, 08 March 2011 22:41|
A 128-day kidnapping, one of Zimbabwe's longest, fina-lly came to an end last weekend when a maid who snat-ched her employer's toddler became greedy and dema-nded a ransom.
Frantic mother Ms Tapiwa Muchiriwesi had never gi-ven up hope, phoning her former maid, Anna Billiat (18) all the time since Prince Tizai (2) was snatched on Nove-mber 7 last year, a week after the maid had been hired to work at the Muchiriwesi residence in Chisipite.
But the phone was never answered and police could never get a lead on Billiat.
But then, last Friday, came the first miracle. A friend of Billiat answered the phone. She lied and said the ex-maid was in Botswana, but she also said the toddler was safe and Billiat was interested in returning him.
And then Billiat phoned, on Saturday and told Ms Mu-chiriwesi to bring clothes and US$150.
Well that is all the lead the police needed.
The call was speedily traced to Mvurwi and the police quickly drove down, rounded up Billiat and rescued the child. No one even had to bother with a trap.
Prince was quickly brought home to his mother and Billiat was taken to the cells.
Yesterday, she had her minutes in court. She pleaded guilty and will now brood for the next 28 months in a jail cell on why kidnapping is a bad idea.
And she is lucky she looked after the toddler while she had him, and made no threats when she phoned. Otherwise she could have been inside a lot longer.
On November 7 at around 7am, Ms Muchiriwesi left her son in the company of Billiat while going to work.
She returned at midday and discovered that the two were nowhere to be found.
She never gave up hope.
She kept phoning Billiat on her mobile phone, but she was not reachable. She then did her own search as well as telling the police. But everyone drew a blank until the friend answered the phone last week.
Ms Muchiriwesi had not hired a maid without some checks.