MULENGA MUSONDA writes
DESPITE Law enforcement agencies working tirelessly to apprehend Juveniles with deviant behaviours, cases have continued to drag in the Nakonde Juveniles Court following the continuous absence of Social Welfare Officers in Court.
In close to a months, over 10 Juveniles have continued to be remanded in custody with adult accused person’s a situation which is psychologically, physically and environmentally unhealthy for them.
The juveniles have appearing in the Nakonde Juveniles Court for various offences ranging from burglary, house breaking, trafficking in drugs among others.
The majority of these juveniles have pleaded guilty but proceedings always hit a snag when the time for the Social Welfare to read out the reports arrives.
Whenever a Juvenile matter comes up for social welfare report after all Court rituals have taken place, the State always bring into the attention of the Court that the Social Welfare Officer/s are engaged in a Workshop.
In a latest case a Grade 6 pupil pleaded guilty to house breaking and theft were he got away with household goods valued at over K1900.
After facts were dictated, the matter could not proceed into reading of the Social Welfare report as the officer is still reported to be attending a workshop.
This left the Court with no choice to remand the Juvenile in Custody together with adults until the Officer/s return before the order can be passed.
Some parents spoken to who sought to remain anonymous expressed displeasure at the way conduct of the Officer/s as they feel their children are being abused in the Cells.