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A Chinhoyi University of Technology student who gave birth alone in a bathtub before suffocating the newborn baby in the water and later attempting to dump it, has been 'forgiven' by the court and asked not to do it again.

Thelma Rumbidzai Mupatsi (18) pleaded guilty to infanticide charges when she appeared before Chinhoyi magistrate Mr Singandu Jele.

Mr Jele sentenced Mupatsi to three years in prison, which he wholly suspended on condition that she does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.

Prosecutor Mrs Hasel Kondo alleged that Mupatsi secretly gave birth to a baby boy in a bathtub at Number 226 Greenwood Terraces in Mzari suburb, Chinhoyi on October 28.

She wrapped the baby in a towel before releasing water from the tap while the baby was in the bathtub.

Mupatsi wrapped the baby in a bed sheet after it died and stashed it in a suitcase before packing some of her clothes to conceal the body.

She went on to take the placenta and other residue and placed them in a plastic bag which she placed in a satchel.

Mupatsi then left for her parents’ home in Avondale, Harare, leaving the suitcase and the baby in her room.

The baby’s body, with blisters all over, was discovered by Mupatsi’s friends who reported the matter to the police.

It was taken for post-mortem where the cause of death was found to be asphyxia, which is caused by interrupted breathing.

In passing sentence, Mr Jele considered that Mupatsi was a youthful offender who was in a state of trauma when she committed the offence.

He also considered that she did not waste the court’s time after pleading guilty to the offence and that she cooperated with the police during investigations.

Mupatsi handed herself to the police.

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