This is in a matter Jane Musonda was charged with a count of child stealing contrary to section 171 (1)(a)(b) of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Facts before court were that on August 3, 2019, Musonda stole a baby from its biological mother, Jacqueline Mizinga, 20, at Riverside Market in Kapiri Mposhi.
Mizinga was at the time selling second hand clothes around 12:00 hours.
The incident happened when Musonda, while posing as a customer, approached Mizinga at her stand and bought some clothes worth K15 and later asked if she could help hold the baby.
However, after being handed the baby, Musonda suddenly disappeared with the infant.
When the matter came up for plea before Kapiri Mposhi Magistrate Obrien Katyamba, Musonda pleaded guilty to the charge.
In mitigation, Musonda said she decided to steal the baby because she was barren but wanted to have children.
And in passing judgment, Magistrate Katyamba observed that Musonda had no right to steal someone’s child and deprive the family of their baby on justification that she was barren.
He noted that Musonda had a preconceived idea to steal the child from its mother and consequently denied it of motherly care for three days and needed to be punished accordingly.
“Child stealing is a serious offence that attracts a maximum of 14 years imprisonment but you did not waste the court’s time by readily pleading guilty and the child was recovered in good health, but still you need to be punished accordingly,” said magistrate Katyamba who then sentenced Musonda to five years imprisonment but suspended two years six months of it to be served if she commits a similar offence.