A Bulawayo woman has been slapped with a 30-day jail term for leaving her child with a stranger while she went to entertain her boyfriend at a local lodge.
Ayanda Sibanda (22) from Nkulumane 5 suburb met Florence Tatani (55) of Lobengula suburb at the intersection of Fort Street and 4th Avenue in the city centre on Friday last week and asked her to mind her 11-month-old baby under a false pretence that she wanted to use the toilet.
Tatani only realised that something was amiss when Sibanda did not turn up after three hours and she took the baby to the Bulawayo Central Police station.
The following day, Sibanda allegedly went to the same police station to report that her baby had gone missing.
She was immediately arrested and appeared in court on Monday, charged with ill-treating or neglecting children or young people as defined in section 7 (1) of the Children’s Act.
In mitigation, Sibanda pleaded for the court’s mercy citing she meant no harm in leaving her child with a stranger.
“I’m sorry Your Worship. My boyfriend had asked me to join him at a nearby lodge. I thought I would return early and take my baby. It was not my intention to be gone that long,” pleaded Sibanda.
Bulawayo Magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi ordered Sibanda to pay a fine of RTGS$60 or 30 days in jail.