A Chinhoyi woman has given birth to a mysterious baby with two faces, four legs and four arms.

Hospital authorities said the strange baby was delivered in Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital on Wednesday.

The baby, delivered through Caesarean Section at around 9am, however, died shortly after 11am.

Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr Collett Mawire said the incident was linked to genetics of the woman whose identity has been protected.

“I can confirm that such a thing has happened at the hospital. Scientifically, it is not really surprising as it can be traced to genetics,” Dr Mawire said.

Staff at the hospital swarmed the labour ward to catch a glimpse of the strange baby.

“The mother is still in shock at the moment and trying to get over the development and the effects of the drug. We expect that she would have recovered considerably by Friday,” said a member of staff.

Health and Child Welfare Deputy Minister Douglas Mombeshora said the case was an example of a fertilised egg that failed to separate completely into twins.

He said, “It is very common even here in Zimbabwe. What could have happened is that an egg failed to separate and the most severe cases of such incidences is birth of children who share the same head or heart. Some of these cases fail to survive.”

He said with latest methods of detecting such abnormalities, the pregnancy can be legally aborted prematurely.

The baby was in a tray on its side with a face complete with eyes, nose and a mouth facing one side, while the other face faced the other side.

It had four legs and four arms, two on each side.

Other medical officials said it could have been twins that had not fully developed as there were two sets of hands and legs.