Court jails 23-year-old student for stealing 6-year-old, attempting to sell him for K184


Lusaka Magistrate, Constance Kansankala, has advised young people not to use youthfulness as an excuse to break the law as they possess sufficient intelligence and knowledge to distinguish between wrong and right.

Magistrate Kansankala said this when she pronounced a three years simple imprisonment on a 23-year-old student found guilty of stealing a six-year-old boy and attempting to sell him at K184 and use the money to buy drugs.

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Habiba Tembo, of Lusaka’s Kabwata, was charged with child stealing.

Tembo who wept, pleaded with the Court to exercise leniency as she was still youthful and had a chance to change.

The trial Magistrate stated that the sentence was effective from February 1, 2022. However, she suspended the whole sentence for a period of one year on condition that the convict attends counselling at Drug Enforcement Commission educational center for eight months without missing a single appointment and did not commit any offence during the said period.

“I have also applied my mind to the fact that the now convict is youthful at age, being 23 now and is bound to make mistakes and has much room to change and better her life. But youthfulness should not be used as an excuse in the commission of the offence as she possesses sufficient intelligence and knowledge to distinguish between wrong and right and that does not justify her behaviour in the commission of the offense herein,” she said.

Magistrate Kansankala said the offence was serious as the stolen child was barely four years old, depriving him of the mother, and was left in the notorious Chibolya Gaza when he was picked by a member of the public.

“Therefore, I find it prudent to use this convict as an example against fellow youths who might opt to engage themselves in criminal acts as that of the convict so as to deter them from such acts,” she said.

It had been alleged that on November 28, 2022, in Lusaka, Tembo, with intent to deprive a named mother who had lawful care of a child named NB, fraudulently took away the minor.

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