By Brightwell Chabusha
The Ndola High Court has sentenced a 32-year-old mother to seven years imprisonment for dumping her baby in a pit latrine.
This is in a matter where Lydia Mweshi is charged with infanticide contrary to section 203 of the Penal Code.
Ndola High Court Judge Daniel Musonda convicted and sentenced Mweshi after she admitted the charge.
“I take note you are the first offender. You readily admitted the charge without wasting courts time. I also take note that you ended the life of an infant whose life was starting,” he said.
Earlier, State Advocate Innocent Kamunga said on December 9, 2020 police in Chipulukusu received information that an infant had been dumped in a toilet.
Mr Kamunga said the information was received from a concerned member of the Chipulukusu community after the infant was heard crying while in the pit latrine.
He said acting on the information, police instituted thorough investigations which led to the apprehension of Mweshi.
Mr Kamunga said Mweshi was then taken to Ndola Teaching Hospital where it was confirmed by medical personnel that she had recently given birth.
He said on the same day, the infant was retrieved with the help of the Fire Brigade and was taken to Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Mr Kamunga further informed the court that the postmortem conducted by Dr Volodymyr Petrenko revealed the cause of death of the child as asphyxia due to an undetermined cause.
“Subsequently, the accused was charged and arrested with the offence of infanticide. The accused person unlawfully did cause the death of the infant,” he said.
In her mitigations, Mweshi, through her lawyer Bwalya, said she regretted causing the death of her child.
Bwalya Mweshi had time to reflect on her mischief during the time spent in custody and is ashamed of herself.
She said her client has two toddlers whom she left with the mother and the same depend on her.
“My Lord, my client has promised not to engage in criminality. She prays to the court to be lenient with her as the death of her baby will forever haunt her,” Bwalya said.