A BULAWAYO maid who killed a 10-month-old baby by locking it in a drawer because it was making noise for her while she watched a movie, was yesterday slapped with an effective 22-year jail term by the Bulawayo High Court.
Violet Moyo (22) wrapped the infant in a blanket and put it into a drawer, resulting in its death.
She confessed in her warned and cautioned statement that she was responsible for the tot’s death.
“I didn’t know what to do because the baby was making too much noise,” she said.
“That’s why I stashed the baby in a drawer.”
When she committed the offence, she was two months pregnant and on Wednesday blamed her pregnancy for her action.
She said on the day she was feeling moody and was irritated by the baby’s cries.
Moyo said it was not her intention to kill the baby, but she wanted it to sleep and it was sad that she got too preoccupied by the movie she was watching and forgot about the child.
She told the court that she was a rural girl who liked watching movies, since there was no television where she grew up.
Yesterday, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha convicted her of causing the death of the child, but considered that she was youthful.
He sentenced her to 22 years in jail.
“Cases of maids committing offences of murder of children they are employed to take care of are on the increase and, therefore, the courts have to deal with these kinds of offenders with harshness,” he said before passing sentence.
Prosecutor Angeline Munyeriwa told the court that on February 1 at about 7pm, Moyo was left in custody of the 10-month-old child by its parents.
She fed the baby porridge.
Moments later, she put the baby to rest and went about her other duties.
The baby started crying and Moyo tried to calm it, but her efforts were in vain.
Incensed by the baby’s cries, Moyo wrapped it in a blanket and put it in a drawer.
She went on to watch movies on television.
The baby suffocated due to lack of oxygen.
After about three hours of total silence, Moyo went back to check on the baby, but realised the infant was dead.
She tried to cover her crime by putting the dead child between a headboard and the bed so as to look like it had fallen while sleeping.
She later called neighbours and the baby’s parents were called in.
On being questioned, Moyo said she did not know what had happened to the baby.
A report was made to the police and that is when she opened up, leading to her arrest.