POLICE have arrested a Zimbabwean woman suspected to be the kidnapper of a four- week- old baby Karabo Chiponye stolen on the streets of Francistown last week.
The alleged kidnapper, Monicah Jarija was nabbed after her friends who had never seen her pregnant saw her holding a baby and claiming it was hers.
When the story of the missing child made headline news last week, one of Jarija’s Whatsapp group members called The Voice to alert them of their friend’s ‘miracle’ baby.
Jarija had posted a picture of herself with the baby on the group and said that she had given birth to twins but one of the twins had died.
The Voice reported the incident to the Broadhurst Police and on Wednesday Jarija and her husband were arrested and questioned.
In an interview, Jarija was adamant that the baby was hers. She said she missed her menstrual period in April and gave birth on 27 February.
Asked if she was not worried that she was pregnant for 10 months, she said she was, but she could not go to the clinic because she is an illegal immigrant.
“I did not register the pregnancy. On the 27th I was in labour and my husband took me to some old lady in Tsolamosese to help me deliver. This is my baby. Yes, I lied in the WhatsApp group that I lost the baby’s twin because I wanted them to sympathise and contribute some money for me to buy milk for my baby. I never went to Francistown recently and I do not know the woman who claims her child was kidnapped,” said Jarija
However, when The Voice sent a picture of Jarija holding the baby to the mother of the missing baby, Kelebogile Chipoye, she had immediately identified Jarija as the woman who stole the missing baby and the baby she was holding as her baby, Karabo Chiponye.
Acting Broadhurst Station Commander, Tshosa said they had engaged medical experts and they were waiting for the DNA test results.
He said they decided to keep Jarija and the baby in a shelter as they waited for Chipoye to come for DNA tests too.
He said only the DNA test results can determine who the mother of the baby is since Jarija does not have any identification to prove that the baby was hers and the woman she claimed helped her give birth did not know her.
Chiponye had said that the woman who stole her baby tricked her into handing over baby Karabo to her in broad daylight at Nswazwi Mall.
According to Chipoye, the woman convinced her to go to town to buy milk and diapers for the baby after befriending her.
After buying clothes for the baby at the mall, the stranger allegedly asked Chipoye to go into a shop and buy bread but when she came back the woman had disappeared with the child.
The matter was reported to Central Police Station in Francistown.