Two sisters who were jointly charged for allegedly stealing a baby have denied the charge in the Lusaka Magistrates Court.
Kadinja Phiri, 32, and Miriam Phiri, 23, of Kamwala South and Ngombe Compound respectively denied stealing a baby when they appeared before Magistrate Austen Mubita .
The Phiris informed Magistrate Mubita that they understood the charge which was leveled against them but denied committing the offence.
The Phiris are accused of one count of child stealing contrary to section 171 of the laws of Zambia.
The two were released on bail in the sum of K10,000 each in the like sum with two working sureties. The bail was granted after their defence counsel Keith Mweemba made an application.
In his application Mr Mweemba asked for the court to grant his clients bail pending trial as the offence which they were facing was bailable.
He said the accused were of fixed abode and ready to meet any bail conditions which may be imposed by the court.
Mr Mweemba further told the court that Article 18 of the Constitution provided that an accused person was innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law.
He said he was pleading for bail pending trial and not bail pending appeal, adding that the conditions must be reasonable.
Mr Mweemba said he was also asking the court to use its discretion in granting the accused bail and consider one of the accused, Miriam, who was heavily pregnant and who could be due at any time.
He said the accused had been in custody for one week, meaning there was a breach on the part of the State as the Constitution provided that the accused were supposed to appear in court within 24 hours.
The state said they had no objection to the bail application for as long as the accused met the bail terms.
Mr Mubita granted the duo bail pending trial and adjourned the matter to April 10 for opening of trial.