A new mum is crushed after her baby boy was stolen hours after she delivered at St Luke’s Mission Hospital in Lupane, Matabeleland North Province, allegedly by a woman pretending to be a nurse who took advantage of a power failure at the Roman Catholic Church-run institution.
The mother, 32, identified only as Evers, delivered by caesarean section on Thursday and is still hospitalised as she has not yet fully recovered from the operation.
The baby was yet to be named and the father is said to be in South Africa.
Expecting mothers and those who have delivered at the hospital are now living in fear after the baby snatcher left a chilling message written on a piece of paper outside the hospital.
A source said: “A wrapper belonging to the baby was dropped and a written piece of paper was left some distance away from the maternity ward. The piece of paper had the message ‘Hospital staff you’re Satanists who live on human blood’. A phone number was also written on the piece of paper and the number isn’t getting through.
“From the look of things, we suspect that this was an inside job given the fact that the baby snatcher struck when there was no electricity. The baby could also have been stolen just to soil the nurses who were on duty because they’ve a good record of executing their job professionally and diligently.
The baby could also have been stolen by a desperate woman who hasn’t conceived in her life and was looking for a baby to maintain her marriage.”
Evers, who cannot conceive anymore because of a medical procedure, said she only has one child aged 11. Her only other child died some time back.
This is the first time that a baby has been stolen at St Luke’s Mission Hospital. The news team managed to briefly talk to Evers before hospital authorities barred the news screw from interviewing her.
The dejected mother said she delivered at around 3PM on Thursday and before she knew it, the baby was gone in the early hours of the following day.
She said someone wearing a nurse’s uniform entered her ward around 3AM and asked for the baby that had been crying as she wanted to give him some medication.
At the time, there were three other women in the ward who saw the said “nurse” and no one expected what followed.
“I gave the bogus nurse my baby as she said she wanted to give him paracetamol. The woman who stole my baby was clad in a nurse’s uniform and we never suspected that the baby was being stolen,” said Evers.
“We realised that the baby had been stolen when the nurses who were on duty said they didn’t know the nurse who had taken my baby.”
She said all she wanted was to recover her baby. Evers’ mother did not want to talk much.
“What we only want is my grandchild alive. Nothing else,” she told the news crew.
A police report has since been made. Comment could not be obtained from Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Siphiwe Makonese as her mobile phone went unanswered.
St Luke’s Hospital district nursing officer, identified only as Dr Tshuma, could not be reached for comment last night as he was said to be attending to a patient.
A woman who answered his phone promised that Dr Tshuma was going to call back, but he had not done so by the time of going to print. According to an impeccable source, the baby boy was stolen in the early hours of Friday morning.
“The mother whose baby was stolen had a procedure done which made her not to conceive anymore. The baby was stolen by a medium built woman who was wearing a nurse’s uniform. She had a wig and pretended to be a nurse. She entered the ward where the mother and three other women were,” said the source.
“She asked for the baby that was crying claiming she wanted to give the baby paracetamol and take it to the incubator. Evers, who was unsuspecting, gave the bogus nurse the baby before she disappeared.”
The source said when the baby was stolen there was a power outage at the hospital.
“There was no electricity at the hospital and the institution relied on electricity from a generator which normally provides light to the maternity ward when mothers are delivering. The baby was stolen when two nurses, a Mkandla and senior midwife Ngwenya were on duty attending to a woman who was delivering in the maternity ward,” the source said.
The source added that the woman who stole the baby was spotted outside the hospital premises in the early hours of Friday morning carrying the baby by two people who were coming for an early morning visit to the hospital.