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JOY: Karabo was reunited with his family

Young mum reunited with stolen baby

A month old baby boy who made headline news when he was snatched on the streets of Francistown three weeks ago has been reunited with his mother.

With the help of The Voice, police were able to track down the child, Karabo Chipoye and his suspected kidnapper, Monica Jarikha to her home in Broadhurst, Gaborone last Wednesday.

Although Jarikha, 40, maintained the infant was hers, DNA tests would later confirm the baby was in fact Kelebogile Chipoye’s missing son.

In an emotional interview with The Voice on Tuesday morning, three days after getting her baby back, Kelebogile and her family are the picture of happiness.

Cradling her young son tightly, as if she might never let him go again, the 31-year-old admits she feared she’d never see her boy again.

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“I thought since the woman who stole her was a Zimbabwean maybe she already jumped the border to her country. I am so happy and thank both God and The Voice that my baby is back.”

Gazing fondly at Karabo, who is fast asleep in her arms, Kelebogile’s expression changes dramatically at the mention of Jarikha’s name.

“She is very lucky the time I went to meet her at Gaborone the police made sure I sit far from that woman or else I could have dealt with her in a bad way,” growled the mother-of-four.

Apart from a slight rash on his young face – “I suspect he was allergic to the soap they were bathing him with!” reasons Kelebogile – Karabo is the picture of health.

Despite the heat, the youngster is well wrapped in brand new rompers and blankets.

The clothes, as well as nappies, milk and baby bath, were donated to the family by Jarikha’s boyfriend. He had initially bought the items believing the child was his.

Although he was arrested, police later released the Zimbabwean and are unlikely to charge him.

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MY BABY: Kelebogile cradling her son

In a story of mixed emotions, earlier that day Jarikha cut a forlorn figure during her brief appearance before Francistown Magistrates Court.

Charged with baby stealing, Jarikha looked lost and frightened as court informed her she would not be granted bail.

The only time the suspect spoke was to let court know she would conduct her own defence as she does not have the money to pay for an attorney.

She further pleaded with court to be assisted with her medication, a request the prosecution promised they would see to.

During the brief arraignment, it also emerged Jarikha was in the country illegally, her days having elapsed in November 2019.

Standing outside court, her shoulders hunched and hugging herself as she waited for the cops to take her to prison, Jarikha told The Voice she took the baby because she cannot have children of her own.

“It was a mistake and I will agree to the charge. I desperately wanted a baby as I have tried with traditional doctors and hospitals to have a baby. I sought help in many countries but it did not work,” she explained, desperately blinking back tears as she was taken away.

Jarikha was remanded in custody until her next court appearance, scheduled for 8 April.

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