Blantyre Magistrates Court has ordered a 22 year-old woman, Wanangwa Tambala to do 40 hours of community service in default serve one month in prison for dumping her newly-born baby in pit-ratline in Chilobwe Township, Blantyre.
Tambala who hails from Kajombo village T/A Kapeni, married and has two children, committed the offence on the night of September 4th this year.
Information presented in court revealed that Wanangwa, who was nine-month pregnant and is married to Kusayi Tambala, gave birth to a baby boy at around 8pm in a communal toilet of one of the churches in the township before dumping the infant in the same latrine.
“The watchman who was guarding the church heard a baby crying in the toilet when he had gone to answer a call of nature; he then mobilised people in the area and demolished the latrine,” Police prosecutor Sergeant, Victor Nachuma told the court.
Interestingly one of the people who helped to successfully rescue the baby was the husband to the accused person. The matter was reported to Chilobwe Police who instituted a man-hunt and managed to apprehend the accused in Ntonda in T/A Kapeni’s area.
Nachuma said: “She was arrested and taken to police where she confessed to have given birth and dumped the baby into the latrine.”
Both accused and the baby were taken to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) where Doctors certified that Wanangwa Tambala is mentally normal.
Tambala pleaded guilty to the offence and in mitigation she prayed for leniency appealing that she has two more children who will need her care.
Senior Resident Magistrate, Viva Nyimba subsequently sentenced her to perform a community service for the period of 40 hours in default serve one month in prison despite Nachuma’s plea for stiffer punishment on argument that the accused had intention to kill.
Endeavouring to conceal birth of a child contrary to Section 232 of the Penal Code attracts a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment with hard labour.