‘Juvenile’ suspect claims to be 22

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—–The Mazabuka Magistrates court has ordered police in the area to take a suspect to the hospital in order determine his actual age after he denied being a juvenile but an adult.


Magistrate Bornface Mwala last Friday ordered police to take Tennis Tembo to hospital for examinations after he claimed in court that he was not a juvenile but 22 years old.


Magistrate Mwala doubted Tembo, who earlier on told the court that he was a juvenile, aged 17 years.


Tembo, who has been dragged to court charged with an offence of escaping from lawful custody contrary to Section 108 sub-section 1(a) of the Juvenile Act Chapter 53 of the Laws of Zambia, earlier told the court that he was a juvenile when he appeared for mention.


Surprisingly, Tembo u-turned on his earlier statement when he appeared in court on Friday claiming he was not a juvenile but a 22-year-old man.


Tembo, who immediately raised his hand shortly before proceedings could commence in his case, submitted, that he did not tell the court the truth because he was confused following the beatings he suffered in the police cells.


Tembo said he, therefore, wanted to put the record straight before the court that he was not a juvenile but an adult who was aged 22 years old.


The claim prompted Magistrate Mwala to briefly adjourn the hearing and upon his return from his chambers referred the matter to hospital authorities to conduct examinations and ascertain his actual age.


Magistrate Mwala pointed out that the court was taken aback and disturbed with the juvenile who wanted to take the law in his own hands.


The matter was then adjourned to March 4, 2015, for age determination and possible plea with Tembo remanded in custody.