George Maponga in MASVINGO
A 72-YEAR-OLD Chivi woman will perform 105 hours of community service after the High Court convicted her of concealing the birth of a child by her unmarried daughter. Jane Chenzira of Chipindu village begins her sentence today at Chamatatu Primary School. Chenzira was facing murder charges with prosecutor Mr Elson Chavarika alleging she strangled the newly born baby boy and secretly buried the corpse on an anthill in April last year.
Justice Francis Bere cleared Chenzira of murder.
He sentenced Chenzira to six months in prison for concealment of birth but suspended three months of the sentence on condition she does not commit a similar offence.
The remaining three months were suspended on condition Chenzira performs community service at Chamatutu Primary School from 8am to 4pm daily.
Justice Bere cited lack of incriminating evidence linking Chenzira to the murder of the child.
Chenzira’s lawyer, Mr Jackson Mupoperi of Saratoga Makausi Law Chambers, had argued that the granny did not commit the offence.
The lawyers claimed it was Chenzira’s daughter, Shingairai Shoko, who killed the baby soon after giving birth and buried the corpse on an anthill.
Shoko, the lawyers said, murdered the baby because she could not fend for him as she was unemployed.
Charges against Chenzira arose on April 29, 2013 when she was awoken by her pregnant daughter who was complaining of labour pains.
The granny took her daughter to a nearby maize field where she helped her to deliver.
The State claimed that Chenzira ordered Shoko to go home and collect a sack leaving the newly-born baby behind.
Allegations were that she strangled the baby in her daughter’s absence and buried the corpse.
The corpse was later discovered by villagers who reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of the granny and her daughter.