Dowa magistrate court has sentenced a 40-year-old barren woman who exhumed a body of a baby to pretend she is fertile and had given birth to a still baby.
The convict identified as Esnart Yusuf was arrested in February on charges unlawfully exhumation of a human corpse contrary to section 131 of the penal code.
The state prosecutor, Sub Inspector Sam Chimkombero told the court that the woman who is barren was in her second marriage after her previous marriage failed in Kasungu.
Last year, she started telling people that she was pregnant and that she would give birth.
On 25th February, she went to her mother in law in the village of Besera, T/A Msakambewa in Dedza district.
While there, she lied to her mother in-law that she had given birth on her own but the baby was born dead.
Her mother in-law took her to Dzaleka Health Centre for checkup where it was revealed that Yusuf has never been pregnant nor given birth in her life.
After several interrogations, she revealed that she allegedly exhumed the dead body at a grave yard situated at Dowa Hospital.
Therefore, the prosecutor asked the court to give her a stiff punishment to deter would be offenders.
In mitigation, Yusuf begged the court for a lenient sentence as she was a first offender.
While passing judgment, First Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri agreed with the state prosecutor and sentenced her to 20 months imprisonment with hard labour.
She hails from Besela village in the area of Traditional Authority Msakambewa in Dowa district.
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