Zimbawbe: A Newly born baby buried alive by her mother in a bid to conceal an extra-marital affair from her husband incredibly survived for three days in the shallow grave only to die after being rushed to hospital, a Masvingo court heard.
Grace Chikwati, 30, from Mushandike village in Masvingo pleaded guilty to infanticide when she appeared before pregnant Masvingo magistrate Langton Ndokora on Tuesday.
The court heard that the married Masvingo woman got pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl while her husband was away working in South Africa.
Prosecutors said she then immediately buried the baby alive to conceal the extra marital affair.
The court remanded her in custody for continuation of trial.
Appearing for the state, Fedelicy Nyamukondiwa said Grace delivered a bouncing baby girl on May 12 this year and went on to bury the child alive in a shallow grave she dug along Chinjekwe River, in the same area.
The court further heard that three days later, one Mutare cousin to Grace, together with two other villagers, Pesanai Chimunhu and Charles Gwadzoka went to check on Grace’s pregnancy as she had earlier told them she was due give birth.
Grace told the trio that she had suffered a still birth at home and decided to bury the baby by herself along the river in accordance with tradition.
The trio then persuaded Grace to show them were she had buried the baby as she had not notified the village elders who were supposed to perform rituals before burial.
Both Grace and the villagers proceeded to the river were they retrieved the baby from a shallow grave, but were shocked to discover the baby – covered only with a cloth – was still alive.
The baby was rushed to Masvingo general hospital for medical attention but was pronounced dead on 17 May this year and Grace was handed over to the police.
In mitigation, Grace told the court that she committed the crime in fear of being chased away from her matrimonial home since her husband was due to return from South Africa.
She added that the man responsible for her pregnancy had also vanished into thin air.