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Eight years later, mother to reunite with stolen child in Zimbabwe

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TheVoiceBW


Eight years of agony will come to a happy ending on April 26th for a Motswana mother who will finally be reunited with her long-lost child in Zimbabwe.

Baby Betty Morris was snatched from her mother’s arms by her estranged Zimbabwean father, Morris Mangena, who then disappeared with her.

She was only 19 months when she was stolen in 2016.

Her determined mother, Oratile Morris, launched a relentless search for her child, recounting her harrowing experience in The Voice Newspaper and appealing to Interpol to help her look for Betty in Zimbabwe.

Mangena was arrested in September 2019 after a reader identified him from his picture on the front page of The Voice and tipped off the police.

He confessed in court to have smuggled the baby into Zimbabwe where he had left her in the care of his uncle.

Mangena was then granted bail and, since then, the case dragged on with the cops saying they were awaiting Interpol to assist

Last year, Morris tightened her boots straps and followed the social workers office and the child protection unit to lodge a complaint about delays in her case..

The two departments re-registered the case before court and now, after years of heart break and frustration, Morris’ face lit up when she learnt that the Department of Social Development in Zimbabwe had set a date for her reunion with her long lost baby, who is now in Standard 3.

“When I received the news, I cried like a baby. I could not believe what I heard. I now feel that April 26th is too far as I cannot wait to meet my daughter. Since the day I heard the good news, I always dream of the road to Khwekhwe where my daughter lives. I am now looking for piece jobs so I can buy her some things to give her when we meet. I have waited for this moment for close to a decade, so to say I’m excited would be an understatement,” said Morris.

She went on to express gratitude for the role The Voice played in helping her find her baby, “If it were not for The Voice Newspaper, I would not have found my daughter.

They have been with me since day one and they are the ones who helped with the arrest of Mangena and also gave me ideas to check other departments after the police officers failed me,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Development in Zimbabwe have stated in their letter to Morris that they want the visitation to be done in April when the child is on school break to avoid disturbance of her studies.

However, Morris is saddened that she is not going to return home with her child yet because there are official procedures that need to be followed before she can be repatriated.