A Rusape woman is in the eye of a storm after she allegedly stole two babies in Harare on two different occasions in 2013 and 2015 and kept them for nine years.
Eneta Marumani (48), who reportedly could not conceive, was exposed recently after her husband asked for the children’s birth records so that he could obtain their birth certificates.
Police confirmed the matter, saying Marumani faked preg_nancies on two occasions before lying to her husband that they had been blessed with the babies.
She was arrested on Tuesday and is assisting the police with investigations.
Police are now looking for the biological mothers of the children.
“In the first incident, Marumani of Madhibhu Village under Chief Chiduku, Rusape, met the child’s mother at Sally Mugabe Hospital (formerly Harare Central Hospital)’s main gate and offered to assist the lady by carrying her baby. The baby, named Tawanda, was three-months-old as of June 16, 2013,” said Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Norbert Muzondo.
“Tawanda’s biological mother was carrying a lot of luggage and Marumani took advantage of that to steal her baby. The two women boarded a commuter omnibus to Seke Flyover. When they disembarked from the commuter omnibus, Marumani disappeared with the baby. She took the baby to her unsuspecting husband, Mr Noel Gutu in Rusape. She lied to him that she had given birth to a baby boy,” said Insp Muzondo.
He said the matter only came to light when Mr Gutu reported to the police in Rusape that his wife was failing to produce birth records for their two children as he wanted to acquire their birth certificates.
“When Mr Gutu insisted that he wanted the birth records, Marumani said she could not obtain them from Vengere Clinic where she had allegedly delivered the babies.
“A follow-up was made with the clinic and it was confirmed that there were no records of the children’s births.
“Upon further interrogation, Marumani confessed to stealing the children in Harare. Investigations also revealed that Marumani used the same method on June 2, 2015, to steal another child. On that day, she went to Waterfalls in Harare and while on a bus stop, a woman who was selling brooms pleaded with the accused to carry her baby, Joseph, so that she could pack her brooms.
“She took advantage of the woman’s lapse in concentration to sneak away with the baby who was six weeks old. She went and presented the baby to her husband as the new arrival in the family,” said Insp Muzondo.
— Manica Post