”Baby was exchanged for phone, K1,100’

”Baby was exchanged for phone, K1,100’

A 17-YEAR-OLD girl of Mupita village in Samfya has told the Mansa Magistrate’s Court that her sister allegedly sold her one-month-old baby at K1,100 plus a smartphone. The girl testified before magistrate Dominic Makalicha that her sister sold the child with the help of her elder brother and their neighbour. This is in a case in which Abigail Chama, Mulenga Lawrence and the mother of the child, Sylvia Lawrence, are charged with one count of child trafficking.

 

On December 1 last year, while acting together, the trio allegedly trafficked a child without lawful authority. When the matter came up for trial on Wednesday, Ng’andwe Lawrence told the court that on the material day around 08:00 hours, she was told by Sylvia that she wanted to give her child to well-wishers so that they could look after her.

She said her sister claimed that she had no means of supporting the child and that she had met some people she had made arrangements with. Ng’andwe said the following day, she saw Sylvia and their neighbour, Chama, getting out of a Toyota Prado and went into the house.

“I was preparing porridge for the baby when my sister and Ms Chama suddenly came and grabbed the baby from me and left with her in the same vehicle,” she said. Ng’andwe said the same day, Sylvia went home and informed her that the people who wanted to get her baby had examined the child and found that she was going to die any day because she was sick. “Later, my sister exchanged her baby for K1,100 and I saw this herself, Ms Chama and my brother discussing how they were going to share the money. My sister said since she was the owner of the baby, she would be using the smartphone.

“After some time, the three left home and went to inform people from the village that the baby had died, but they were apprehended and taken to Mansa Police Station,” she said. Trial continues. Meanwhile, two officers from Kitwe Central Police Station yesterday testified that a Tanzanian wept and almost beat up a suspect he identified as one of the people who attacked him during an aggravated robbery.

This is a case in which Chilufya Chipili and Daniel Makina are jointly charged with one count of aggravated robbery. When the matter came up for continued trial before Kitwe High Court Judge Timothy Katenekwa on Wednesday, inspector Lloyd Chibale testified that on September 7 last year, he conducted an identification parade for an aggravated robbery case. Mr Chibale said he had nine suspects on the identification parade and these included Chipili.

He said police officers also had two Tanzanian witnesses to identify the suspects in the aggravated robbery case. Mr Chibale said the first witness, Rajab Magwira, identified Chipili, who was standing in the fourth position, as the person who attacked him as he was driving a truck laden with copper cathodes.

He said the second witness, Hamuzala Muhammad, also identified Chibale as the person who attacked him and that he was so emotional that he almost wept as he identified him. And crime scene officer Simon Chushi told the court that when the second witness identified Chipili, he grabbed him by his shirt and almost beat him up.

“Mr Muhammad was so emotional during the identification parade that he almost beat up Chipili, but he later got a hold of himself and identified him as one of the people who attacked him,” Mr Chushi said. He told the court that he also took pictures of what transpired on the identification parade and later submitted them to the court a  part of his evidence.
Trial continues.