Jane Ngwerume (18) abducted the two minors from church while congregants were immersed in prayer. She ran out of luck when some congregants who were now looking for the missing children spotted them while boarding a bus out of the satellite town.
Ngwerume recently appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo facing two counts of kidnapping or alternatively unlawful detention. She pleaded guilty to the charges and both counts were treated as one for the purposes of sentence.
Mr Mapfumo slapped her with five years’ imprisonment of which one year was suspended for five years on condition she did not within that period commit any offence of a similar nature for which, if convicted, she would be jailed without the option of a fine.
When asked by Mr Mapfumo why she stole the children, Ngwerume said she had been sent by a man only identified as Tinashe who lives in Mufakose. She said Tinashe had told her there were businesspeople in South Africa who wanted toddlers for ritual purposes.
She further told the court that it was Tinashe who was going to take the children to South Africa and would be given her share of the proceeds.