The Second Grade Magistrate Court in Monkey-Bay on Tuesday sentenced Haji Tambala and his wife, Memory Saidi, to three years Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) for stealing a three-week-old baby.
The court learnt that during the wee hours of February 2, this year (2019), the mother of the baby left her two children asleep as she went to relieve herself outside.
However, upon returning she was shocked to find her little baby missing from where he had slept.
The mother alerted members of the community and the matter was later reported to police.
State Prosecutor, Sub Inspector Elias Chitsulo, told the court that at dawn the same day, the accused person boarded a minibus heading to Golomoti with the stolen baby.
He said the accused was apprehended by fellow passengers most of whom were from the same area where the baby had been stolen.
Appearing before the court, the wife pleaded guilty to the charges but the husband pleaded not guilty to the same, forcing the state to parade three witnesses who testified against him.
The court convicted the couple for stealing the baby contrary to Section 167 of the Penal Code.
In mitigation before judgment, the couple asked for a lesser punishment but the state prosecutor pleaded with the court to give the couple a stiff punishment to send a warning to would-be offenders.
Second Grade Magistrate Mtunduwatha Mpasu concurred with the state that the crime committed was a very serious one deserving a stiff punishment to deter others from committing the same, hence the three-year jail-term with hard labour for the couple.
Haji Tambala, 38, hails from Tambala Village in Traditional Authority Kalonga in Salima while his wife Memory Saidi comes from Msakambewa Village in Traditional Authority Ganya in Ntcheu.
By Tionge Kasolota-MANA