POLICE in Chipata have arrested a woman for stealing a day old baby at Chipata Central Hospital. Eastern Province police commissioner Luckson Sakala told journalists that the incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon.
“Chipata Central Police Station has received a report of child stealing from Chipata Central hospital which actually happened today (Tuesday) around 14:00 hours. We received the report through the hospital administration that a 16-year-old girl of Mchini Compound had her child stolen from the hospital when she went outside the ward to call the mother as she was about to be discharged from the hospital. However, whilst she was outside, the baby was actually stolen from the bed where she had left it,” Sakala said.
He said the baby was recovered from Down Shops area by members of the public.
“So the baby was recovered when the suspect was about to board a taxi for her village in chief Mshawa’s area. The suspect is Esther Mwanza [aged] 20 years of Kwajoya village. The suspect has been officially arrested and shall appear before the court soon,” said Sakala.
An eye-witness Theresa Tembo said she spent a night with the suspect at the Mother’s shelter and that she also helped in sweeping at the shelter.
“What happened is that we went to the ward (where the baby was stolen from). She [Mwanza] was just standing in the corner and I asked her who she was
waiting for. She told me that she was waiting for sister-in-law who was in the same ward. When the guard came and ordered everyone to move out she refused and remained inside saying she was waiting for a patient,” Tembo said.
Another witness Martha Phiri from Magazine compound said she saw the suspect coming out of the hospital with a baby.
“As she was passing through, she asked me about the price of popcorns and I told her that it was K1. When she went to the next selling point my colleague told her that she did not cover the baby properly. She just said she was tired with such things and left,” said Phiri.