AN HIV-positive couple was yesterday charged for terminating a three-month-old pregnancy using an unknown drug they had bought from a friend for $30.
Moreen and Jabulani Moyo appeared before the Western Commonage magistrate Tancy Dube, where they pleaded guilty to the charge.
Moreen was slapped with 15 months imprisonment, of which six were suspended on condition that for five years she does not commit a similar offence, while nine months were suspended on condition that she performs community service at Njube Police Station for 315 hours.
Jabulani was sentenced to a 24-month prison term, with six months being suspended on condition of good behaviour and the remaining 18 months suspended on condition that he serves 630 hours of community service at ZRP Njube. In their defence, the couple told the magistrate that it was an unplanned pregnancy and they already had four children they were struggling to feed.
“I am on ARVs and I have a one-year-old baby who is not healthy. I cannot be able to feed another child,” Moreen said.
Jabulani said he faced a financial crisis in raising the children and admitted that he was the one who came up with the plan to terminate the pregnancy.
“We are taking ARV pills and our life is just so miserable we could not afford to feed another child in addition those we have,” he said.
For the State, Vimbai Chikosha told the court that the couple agreed to hire a person who was going to help them with the termination of the foetus and they paid $30 after he had performed the abortion. According to the State’s outline, a dead foetus was found in Njube suburb at around 9am by a minor who then called Kholwani Tshuma. Tshuma reported the matter to the police.
“I was asleep in the morning when (the minor) called me to see the plastic bag that had blood and the foetus in it,” he testified.
The police were called to scene and immediately took the foetus to United Bulawayo Hospitals for a post mortem. Manford Mapubula, a ZRP officer, said he found the foetus in a drainage, with fresh blood, which to him was evidence that the termination had been done not too long ago.
Source: Southern Eye