By LUCY PHIRI
FIVE female suspects, among them a Judiciary employee and University Teaching Hospital staff, have pleaded not guilty to one count of Child Stealing and harbouring a child.
This is in a matter in which Precious Nkunika,28, an employee of the Judiciary, Nelly Kasalo,41, and Emily Hall, both Nutrition demonstrators at UTH, Rebecca Mkandawire,42, a maid at the hospital and Grace Siska are charged with child stealing and harbouring of a child contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
When the matter came up yesterday at the Lusaka magistrate court, state prosecutor Isaac Munenga Informed court that there were some changes on the indictments.
Mr Munenga told magistrate Crispin Hampungani who is handling the matter that the indictment was amended and another charge was added.
“The first four accused persons are jointly charged in the first count and the last accused person namely Grace Siska is charged alone in the last count. May all the five accused persons take fresh plea,” he said.
All the five accused persons, took plea and denied the charge.
And first witness in this matter, Eneless Mwenya, 45, of Zambian Compound in Kafue narrated how she escorted her pregnant daughter in-law to the Hospital after she was complaining of labour pains.
Ms Mwenya said, on May 1, 2022 her daughter in-law Dalitso Banda went into labour and she took her to Kafue General Hospital for delivery.
“We reached KGH, I was alone, and a nurse told me that Banda needed to under an operation (Ceaser) and I left the hospital at around 19hours,” she said.
She said the following morning, she went back to the Hospital only to be told that her daughter has been referred to the University Teaching hospital UTH in Lusaka. “I rushed to UTH, went straight to the maternity ward and asked were Madalitso Banda was, the Doctor I found on duty told me she was put on oxygen, I then asked where the baby was he also told me he was on oxygen at D- block,” she said.
She said she went to D- block where a nurse in charge gave her the documents showing her the baby that it was a male child and with weight of 3.5 kg and with a pink ribbon on his left hand.
“She asked if I could know the child I said yes because he resembled his father Elias Mwenya and his brothers. I asked why the child was on oxygen, nurse told me that the child never cried during delivery and also that he was born tired,” she said.
Ms Mwenya narrated that when she went to check on the baby the following day, she found the baby was removed from oxygen but was on the same bed.
“I then told the Doctor to help MD as the baby was crying, he told me to get her some milk within the same premise and feed him, I continued feeding him every after two hours,” she said.
By LUCY PHIRI