RUSAPE. — A baby girl who was just a few hours old was recently found dumped in the middle of the Mutare-Harare Highway with no clothing on a very cold morning.
Police in Manicaland province are full of praise for the couple who picked up the baby and took her to hospital.
While most motorists would not risk stopping in the middle of the highway at night for fear of robberies and other danger, the unidentified couple stopped to examine what looked like an object wrapped in a plastic bag and dumped right in the middle of the road.
“They immediately stopped and upon investigation, they discovered that a baby was inside the plastic bag,” said Inspector Norbert Muzondo, spokesperson for police in Manicaland province.
“The informant was travelling with her husband along the Harare-Mutare Highway going towards Rusape at around 2am. Upon approaching the 180km peg, the informant saw a plastic bag lying in the middle of the road.”
He would not divulge the names of the Good Samaritan, but said it is suspected to the baby was abandoned by her mother.
In awe, the couple took the infant to a police roadblock at the 175km peg where they picked a police officer.
They went to Rusape General Hospital where they handed the infant over to the hospital authorities for examinations.
It was concluded that the baby was in a stable condition and had just been delivered.
The infant was admitted in the maternity ward awaiting further management and onwards referral to a relevant care centre.
Police applauded the informant for the exceptional philanthropic work while castigating the actions of the mother.
“What the mother did is cruel. We discourage baby dumping and we encourage would-be mothers who may fail to provide for their newly-born babies to approach organisations like the Department of Social Welfare or development partners for assistance.
“There are mechanisms in place to assist parents who may not be in a position to support their children. We also applaud the Good Samaritan for a job well done.
“She did exceptionally well by acting timely and making a quick reaction to ensure the safety of the baby. The philanthropic works should not go unnoticed,” said Inspector Muzondo.
Meanwhile, Manica Post reports that the baby has since been adopted by a family in the town.
Increasing poverty, lack of access to contraceptives and assistance during severe lockdowns has left many mothers unable to care for their babies.
Las year, a Great Zimbabwe University student in Masvingo was sentenced to six months in prison for dumping her two-day-old baby in Zvishavane. In court, she revealed that being a student, she did not know what to do with the baby.
Statistics provided by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) show that Harare and Midlands lead in reported cases between January and October this year, while Manicaland had the least cases.
When a dumped baby is discovered, they are taken to hospital for a check-up before being taken to a children’s home. In worst cases, the babies may already be dead by the time they are discovered. However, they still have to be taken to hospital for post-mortem.