HARARE – Jazz sensation Dudu Manhenga, who spent close to two weeks in jail, has been freed on $200 bail by High Court Judge Felistas Chatukuta.
The songstress had been sent to prison for an effective one-and-half-years over a culpable homicide charge.
Harare magistrate Blessing Murwisi initially sentenced Manhenga to two years in prison before suspending six months on condition of good behaviour in the next five years.
Manhenga was slapped with a $300 fine, failure of which she faced three months in prison for another charge of driving using a learner’s licence without supervision.
After being sent to prison, Manhenga filed an appeal against sentence, before applying for bail, which was dismissed by Murwisi on the basis that she had committed a serious offence.
Murwisi also said Manhenga might abscond and that there were no prospects of success on appeal.
The musician appealed to the High Court, leading to Chatukuta freeing her on bail.
“Bail is granted in terms of the draft order,” Chatukuta said, before ordering Manhenga to surrender her passport and to report once every week to the police until the finalisation of the appeal.
Manhenga through her lawyer Isiah Mureriwa told the court said her moral blameworthiness was much lower as compared to other similar cases that have been dealt with by the courts.
“She merely had bad luck. Another court would certainly interfere with the sentence imposed by the court a quo,” Mureriwa said.
Manhenga was convicted on his plea of guilty, after she accepted hitting Graham Martin to death in March 2010.
The court heard Manhenga hit Martin who was riding a motorcycle, while attempting to turn right in front of oncoming vehicles.
Martin sustained serious injuries and died upon admission at West End hospital.