A MUTARE woman, who recently claimed that she gave birth to a baby boy but left Mutare Provincial Hospital maternity ward with a girl child after a suspected baby swap involving medical staff at the hospital, has rejected DNA results, which confirmed that the baby belongs to her.
In an interview at her neighbour’s Chitakatira village homestead on Monday, 18-year old Precious Musara, who gave birth to a premature baby boy at home on November 22, last year, said she suspected foul play in the handling of blood samples that were used to determine paternity.
On Monday, police handed over DNA test results to Musara, which revealed that she is the actual mother of the girl child 99, 9 percent.
However, her husband Mr Lloyd Chikuni, neighbour Mrs Melody Machikiti and three other women, who played the midwifery role, witnessed the birth of a boy child.
After the home delivery, Mrs Musara was taken to Chitakatira Clinic where she was given a blue baby card as further confirmation of having given birth to a baby boy.
Musara said she was then referred to Mutare Provincial Hospital for further incubation of the premature baby and to her surprise after a day in hospital, she was given a baby girl to breastfeed.
“I gave birth to my baby boy here at home. There were three ladies who quickly came to my assistance. They helped me by cutting the umbilical cord and one of them rushed to alert Mrs Machikiti, who has experience in midwifery.
“Mrs Machikiti came and confirmed that the ladies had done a good job in cutting the umbilical cord. Together with my husband who was also present during the delivery, they all saw a baby boy. They took me to Chitakatira Clinic where I was given a blue baby card as further confirmation of having conceived a boy.
“I was transferred to Mutare Provincial where I spent four days. Everything went on well for two days but on the third day the nurse gave me a baby girl to breastfeed. I refused. She insisted that the girl child was mine.
“I even went to the extent of refusing to breastfeed the girl child but the nurse insisted and forced me to follow her instructions. I gave in and started breastfeeding the girl child even though I was convinced as I am convinced right now that she is not my baby.
“I was then discharged the next day and when I came back everyone was shocked to see me with a girl child. My husband, who unfortunately was arrested and is still in remand right now for a case at his workplace, demanded that I go back and get our rightful baby.
“All the other neighbours and the ladies who played the midwifery role were baffled. I do not believe their DNA results at all. This is fake. There could have been a deliberate exchange of blood samples along the way. I believe someone is taking advantage of our poverty. There is no way that all these people could have failed to see that mine was a baby boy,” narrated a visibly shaken Musara.
She only spent four days at Mutare Provincial Hospital before she was discharged.
Mutare medical practitioner Dr Prudence Mhlanga said that it is impossible that people can fail to decipher the sex of a baby upon delivery even though the baby could be premature.
It is almost impossible that people may fail to see the sex of a child upon delivery. No. In fact, the se_x of a baby can be deciphered at 22 weeks of pregnancy and when delivery takes place the sex is not only clear but very clear.
“There could have been a mix up in the case you are referring to given the circumstances that people at home when the child was delivered confirmed that it was a boy. Furthermore, clinic staff at Chitakatira confirmed that it was a boy only to be told that it is girl at Mutare Provincial Hospital.
“Unless if all those people were drunk then we might believe that they made a mistake of taking a girl child for a boy child,” he said.
39-year old Mrs Machikiti, a mother of seven who played the midwifery role when Musara delivered, said she is convinced that there could be foul play in the way the case was handled at Mutare Provincial Hospital.
“I am not happy with the way the case was handled at Mutare Provincial Hospital. We all saw that it was a baby boy only to see her (Musara) return home with a baby girl.
‘We strongly believe that someone is taking advantage of her impoverished situation. I am going to phone her parents and find the way forward. This is just not fair at all,” she said.
Sadly, Musara has been left with no choice but to look after let alone breastfeed a baby she strongly believes does not belong to her.
She has since named her Chishamiso.
“I gave her the name Chishamiso because I never thought one would get admitted into a hospital with their baby and walk out with a different baby. It was a big shock to me much as it is so painful and difficult to understand and accept.
‘I have no choice but to take care of her. I am already breastfeeding her as you can see. Only God knows,” said Musara as she shed tears while breastfeeding the baby.