A MUTARE teacher left employees at a Mutare funeral assurance company stunned after she dumped her toddler at the offices and fled demanding a $40 refund on her paid-up policy.
Irene Chasiyeni (36), who was arrested for ill-treating her child after leaving her without due care, has since appeared in court. She appeared before Mr Lazarus Murendo last Friday, while Mr Fletcher Karombe prosecuted.
Chasiyeni was charged with contravening Section 7(1)(4) of the Children’s Act, Chapter 5: 06. Chasiyeni went to the funeral assurance company on September 13 making a follow-up on a $40 refund.
She was carrying her 18-month-old baby on her back.Chasiyeni got into manager Mr Farai Chiku’s office and asked for her refund. She was told that the money was still being processed in Harare — a response that angered her.
Chasiyeni left her child in the manager’s office, saying the baby was supposed to attend pre-school and that refund was supposed to pay the fees. “She went away leaving the child behind in a situation that caused the baby unnecessary suffering,” said Mr Karombe.
Faced with that predicament, Mr Chiku went to Mutare Central Police Station with the child. The baby was taken to the Ministry of Social Welfare offices after efforts to reunite the baby with the mother failed.
In mitigation, Chasiyeni told the court that she left the toddler in the manager’s office in the hope that they would call and pay her. “Your Worship, I paid up my policy, but they kept deducting money from my bank account,” said the primary school teacher.
In sentencing her, Mr Murendo said Chasiyeni had proved that she was an unfit mother and teacher by using her own biological child as bait. He said school children were not in safe hands with her as she failed to appreciate that children had their rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
“We acknowledge today’s financial constraints, but you cannot put the law into your own hands and abuse children in the process. What you did was likely to cause the child mental stress,” said Mr Murendo.
He told her that the court gave her a non-custodial sentence due to the nature of her job. The court feared that she might lose her job if her employer learned that she had abused her own biological child.
She was ordered to pay $80 fine or risk 20 days imprisonment. – Manica Post