Former judiciary employee, Nkunika, mother file appeal against child theft sentence


Former judiciary employee, Precious Nkunika, along with her mother, Grace Siska, have lodged an appeal against their recent jail sentences for the theft of a newborn from the University Teaching Hospital.

Just one day after Magistrate Chrispin Hampungani handed down a five-year imprisonment term to Nkunika for child theft and a two-year term to Siska for child harbouring, the appellants have voiced their discontent, citing various grounds for their appeal.

Their primary argument challenges the magistrate’s conclusion that they harboured the child without substantial evidence to support the claim, questioning the reliance on uncorroborated testimony from a single witness.

They further contested the notion that fear of hospital births led to harsher sentencing, highlighting a lack of evidence to support such a claim.

Read more: Magistrate raises the alarm over rising cases of child theft from hospitals, as court convicts three

Moreover, Nkunika and Siska disputed their convictions, emphasizing the absence of direct witnesses to the alleged child stealing.

Their appeal also addressed the magistrate’s reliance on hearsay evidence and alleged self-incriminating statements, questioning their voluntariness and the lack of proper caution by arresting officers.

The case, which also involved nutrition demonstrator Emily Hall and UTH maid, Rebecca Mkandawire, saw all three accused individuals sentenced to five years in jail for the 2022 theft of a baby.

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