Jazz musician Dudu Manhenga gets bail
By Staff Reporter
HARARE – The High Court on Wednesday granted bail to jazz musician Duduzile Tracy Manhenga pending appeal of her sentence over culpable homicide. Justice Felistus Chatukuta granted Manhenga US$200 bail coupled with stringent conditions after the State consented to bail.
Dudu as she is affectionately known was ordered to surrender her travel documents, reside at the given address until the matter is finalised. She is also required to report once a week to Avondale police station.
Two weeks ago Harare magistrate Blessing Murwisi sentenced Manhenga to 24-months in jail and fined her $300 for driving with a learners licence without supervision. Six-months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
Manhenga had since her arrest three years ago been denying the charge, prompting the court to refer the matter for trial. But this month she applied for the amendment of the charges before she tendered her plea, which the prosecution did not oppose.
The court allowed the request and the prosecution made the changes, which led Manhenga to admit to culpable homicide and that of driving without supervision since she had a learner’s driver’s licence. She told the court that at the time of the accident she was a holder of a learner’s driver’s licence.
The State case was that on March 15, 2010 around 14:15 hours, Manhenga was driving a Toyota Spacio along Sherwood Drive. The now deceased, Graham Martin Millward was riding his motorbike along the same road, but coming from the opposite direction.
The court heard that Manhenga turned right to a house in Mabelreign in front of oncoming motorbike. Millward was seriously injured as a result of the accident and was taken to West End Hospital where he died on admission.
His motorbike is also said to have been seriously damaged. The State proved that Manhenga turned right in front of oncoming traffic and failed to keep a proper lookout on the road ahead.
Manhenga, who was legally represented, pleaded for the court’s lenience stating that she is an artiste and mother of four realising about US$500 per month. In considering the appropriate sentence, Manhenga urged the court to take into account the fact that she has no previous convictions.
She said she did not see the now deceased until he was very close.