A MAN from Village 2 Pioneer in Fort Rixon, who left home in 2010 and resurfaced in 2013 to find his wife pregnant by another man, allegedly waited for her to give birth before burying the one-day-old baby alive in a shallow grave while she watched helplessly.
This was heard when Andrew Mhodi (40) appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese yesterday facing a charge of murder.
Mhodi, who was represented by lawyer Hlabezulu Malinga, denied the charge and the trial continues today.
Prosecuting, Timothy Makoni called the baby’s mother Deliwe Tsikai (35) of Muni Village in Chinhoyi to testify.
Tsikai told the court that she had five children with Mhodi before she gave birth to the deceased baby.
“Sometime in 2010, Mhodi left me with our five children in Chinhoyi while going to Fort Rixon in search of employment,” she said.
“He never returned or communicated or sent money for our upkeep.”
She said on March 13 2013 Mhodi returned to Chinhoyi and found her pregnant by another man. Tsikai said she was due to give birth any day.
“He told me that he wanted to take me to Fort Rixon, but I refused saying we could no longer continue with the relationship since I was pregnant by another man,” she said.
“I told him that since he had been gone for so long, I thought that he was no longer interested in me.
“He insisted that it did not bother him and would take care of me and the baby.
“I finally gave in and agreed to go back with him to Fort Rixon.”
Tsikai said on March 26 she left Chinhoyi with Mhodi for Fort Rixon’s Plot 8 Mac Gowan Farm where he worked.
On April 7 at around 3am, Tsikai said she gave birth to a baby boy.
“On the same day at 9am, the accused told me that he hated the newly born baby and took a pick and shovel,” she said.
“He instructed me to follow him. He led me into the nearby bush for about 1km to a stream with the baby in my arms.
“He instructed me to sit down and I complied. He dug a pit and took the baby away from me.
“I asked him what he wanted to do with the baby and he said we were in the bush.
“He put the baby in the pit and covered it completely. I was crying, but no one heard me as the area was far from the homesteads.”
She said they returned home and Mhodi took some sand; put it in a cup and mixed it with water and drank it. She said Mhodi then warned her never to repeat what she did.
Tsikai reported the matter to the police three days later and told the court that she did not report on the day it happened because she was new in the area and did not know where to find the police.
Mhodi’s defence is that the child was a still birth.
Tsikai said she took her children and fled back to Chinhoyi when Mhodi was away and reported the case at the Murereka Police Station.
The matter was referred to the Fort Rixon police, leading to Mhodi’s arrest.