Dudu Manhenga’s bail application thrown out

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HARARE – Harare magistrate Blessing Murwisi yesterday dismissed convicted jazz musician Dudu Manhenga’s bail application pending appeal.

Manhenga was jailed for an effective one-and-half-years over a culpable homicide charge.

Magistrate Murwisi dismissed her application on the basis there were no prospects of success of the appeal against her sentence.

In her bail application, made through her legal representative, Manhenga argued that she was able to stand trial  three years after committing the offence, and that she was able to make herself available for sentence after her conviction.

Her lawyer further submitted that she was a proper candidate for bail, saying she was of fixed abode and not a flight risk at all.

However, the court dismissed her application saying the offences committed by the jazz artiste were very serious and that there was a likelihood Manhenga could abscond if granted bail.

The State, led by Barbra Ndoro, had no opposition to the application but magistrate Murwisi noted that the State had encouraged the court to give a custodial sentence before she made her final ruling last Friday.
In her notice of application against the sentence, Manhenga had argued that the court had failed to make a factual inquiry to establish the degree of negligence before the ruling.

The court however said there was no need to make such inquiry because Manhenga had a defence lawyer.

Murwisi said the sentence was most appropriate because Manhenga demonstrated gross negligence.

Charges against the songstress, who is a trainee pastor, arose after she hit the now deceased, Graham Martin in Mabelreign, Harare in March 2010.

She faces a further three months in prison for another charge of driving using a learner’s licence without supervision, which has an option for a $300 fine.

In passing sentence, Murwisi had considered that Manhenga was a first time offender and mother of four children but said she exuded gross negligence.

She said the jazz songstress had shown gross negligence by turning right in front of oncoming traffic thus putting the life of an innocent road user at risk.

Manhenga’s lawyer had pleaded for a non-custodial sentence and said the accident was a result of contributory negligence.

He said the now deceased Martin contributed to his death by riding a motor bike without a helmet.

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