Lost and Found

Christinah Motlhabane
FILE PIC: Mangena and the stolen baby

Stolen baby Betty found in Zimbabwe

Baby Betty who made headlines in The Voice Newspaper for months since she went missing three years ago has been finally found in Zimbabwe.

Betty was allegedly stolen by her Zimbabwean father, Nelson Moyo Mangena in 2016 when she was only 1 year- nine months old and taken to Zimbabwe where she was dumped with relatives while Mangena returned to Botswana illegally.

At Mangena’s court appearance on Tuesday, Francistown magistrate, Cele Lebakeng and prosecutor, Mbatshi Mafa said that Zimbabwe Interpol had managed to locate the baby.

“Our officers are supposed to go to Zimbabwe and get the baby’s blood for DNA,” Mafa said.
Meanwhile a reliable source who did not want to divulge too much information when the case was still under investigations stated that the baby was found safe and sound with close relatives to the accused person at the late president’s Robert Mugabe’s home village of Zwimba in Mashonaland West Province.

Mangena has been charged with two counts of ill treatment of the child and entering the country illegally.

Good Samaritans who read the heart-breaking story of Betty’s mom in The Voice Newspaper arrested the 37-year old Mangena in September this year at Tonota village. At his first court appearance Mangena had denied stealing the missing baby.

ACCUSED: Mangena

This time around, however he changed his tune.

“The baby is there in Zwimba village in Zimbabwe under the care of my uncle. I did not steal her, Oratile (the baby’s mother) is the one who gave me the baby claiming she did not want her any more,” Mangena said.

It was heard that Betty who is now about four years old did not have travelling documents and so far the father had denied the child’s mother the right to speak to her child on the phone.

Asked by the court to comment, Betty’s distressed mother said, “If I can only get my child back, I will be happy and live like any other woman. There is no need to argue with Mangena. What is done is done, I just want my daughter back.”

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