High Court, Dar es Salaam zone, yesterday postponed the scheduled hearing to determine the age of film actress Elizabeth Michael alias Lulu. The proceedings have been extended to July 19 this year.
The decision was made by Judge Fauz Twaibu following the prosecution filing a motion of appeal to the Court of Appeal seeking the reviewing of all proceedings and rulings by the High Court to determine the accused age.
Lulu is charged at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court with manslaughter following allegations of her involvement with the death of Steven Kanumba, a co-worker in the local film industry two months ago, April 7th. The incident occurred at the deceased home in Sinza Vatican. The two are rumored to have been in an abusive love affair.
According to defense counsel Peter Kibatala, his client has not attained 18 years to merit prosecution in that court and wants the case to be transferred to Juvenile Court as is his client’s basic right as a child in accordance to section 4(2) of the child act.
Earlier this month, June 11th, Judge Twaibu ruled in favor of the defense asking to see documentation to verify the suspects age. Motions were filed and evidence and counter-evidence were submitted. First the defense filed an exhibit comprised of a birth and baptismal certificate placing Lulu’s age at 17 then the prosecutor countered with a video from a Tv interview, Lulu’s driver’s license, her official police statement and a copy of a passport application form, all documents refuting her childhood status.
The stage was set for a final showdown yesterday, where the judge would have ruled given the submitted evidence (to proceed or send the case to juvenile court) but prosecution led by state attorney Elizabeth Kaganda asked an extension pending the outcome of the motion of Appeal.
In what is proving to be a real life tragic drama, solutions remain distance, justice seemingly ever receding and ghosts if any, are yet to be laid to rest as the mystery only thickens at each hearing. Lulu, meanwhile, remains in custody at the notorious Segerea prison.