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Court dealt harshly with Dudu

Top jazz musician Duduzile Manhenga committed a serious crime which resulted in the death of a road user.

The Standard Editorial

The law took its course and sentenced her to an effective 18 months in jail.

But then, as they say, the law is an ass.

Manhenga committed the crime in March 2010, that is, more than three years ago. In the period between the commission of the crime and her sentencing, she has carried on with her profession as a singer, has gone on foreign tours and has raised her children and cared for her husband in an exemplary manner.

She has not re-offended. In court last week she showed contrition and did not waste the court’s time; she pleaded guilty.

If she had been tried quickly, she would have by now served her sentence and probably repaired her career and continued from where she left it.

But for more than three years she lived with the incident hanging over her like a sword.

According to the United Nations, imprisonment has several objectives. It keeps persons suspected of having committed a crime under secure control before their guilt or innocence is determined by a court.

It punishes offenders by depriving them of their liberty after they have been convicted of an offence. It keeps them from committing further crimes while they are in prison and, in theory, allows them to be rehabilitated during their period of imprisonment. The goal of rehabilitation is to address the underlying factors that led to criminal behaviour and by so doing, reducing the likelihood of re-offending.

What purpose does the sentence imposed on Manhenga serve? If it is meant to punish her, then it’s not only vindictive but also unfair, considering that justice was delayed for a considerable period.
Surely the incarceration cannot be aimed at rehabilitating her because she has already been rehabilitated, evidenced by her not committing a similar offence in the past three years and the exemplary life she has led.

Evidence, according to the UN, shows that prisons rarely rehabilitate, but tend to further criminalise individuals, leading to re-offending. Manhenga should be spared this.

A non-custodial sentence would have sufficed.

15 Responses to Court dealt harshly with Dudu

  1. Changlong11 October 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Well the law took its course as justice was served and my condolences go to the bereaved family. Nevertheless to err is human, lets not castigate Dudu for other shortcomings based on rumours and hate, she is also a wife, a mother, a worker and above all she is human. She deserves a second chance.

    • word writer October 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      How come the famous, the beautiful have supporters who ask for non custodial sentences? The poor, the unknowns as a matter of course get sent straight to jail. She may be beautiful, she may have serious appeal to the emotions, but she committed the crime, she must do the time.

      Justice delayed is justice denied. That man’s life was snuffed out like a candle. He was deprived of eating good foods, sex, time with his children, relaxing, enjoying life. What about his relatives and their grief. What happens if dud runs over your father. will you still recommend a non custodial sentence is justice is delayed by 3 years while fans protest he imprisonment and arrest? The bold and the beautiful, the rich and the famous still have to do the time for their crimes.

  2. Exiled October 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    I don’t even think that the bereaved family is in support of this sentence. However, what can we do as a powerless and voiceless people. NOTHING. The Zimbabwean courts and the Zimbabwean lawyers have since lost their credibility. They can do anything as they feel without proper reasoning which is why Rita Makarau, a lawyer by profession, endorsed the just-ended elections as free and fair something which even an ordinary person in the street can say NO. may the soul of the departed rest in peace but I feel the offence was not to lead her into jail considering the time that lapsed between the offence and the judgment. However, who are we to judge; the courts have determined; its now God’s case there is no further appeal.

  3. Sunday October 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Of course she didnt repeat because she had the case pending,and she got caught , if she hadn’t been caught shed ve still been driving around without a licensed driver or license as we used to frequently see her doing.why all the focus on the victim and the many other people in zim who have died on our roads? What is the traffic safety board saying? Are we now saying that if you are famous, have kids and are married you can be allowed to get away with murder?to say that the time between the sentencing and the offence was 3 years ago and that should be taken into consideration to reduce sentence is bizarre because the family of the deceased will take a lifetime to recover. What about if it had happened to her or her kids or loved one how would she feel?whilst the deceaseds relatives were mourning she was traveling the world ,playing at concerts and living her life to the fullest with no consideration. Another thing the first step to being a pastor is to tell the truth!this is her blunder and cannot be blamed on anyone or system…. She gets 18 months for culpable homicide and dj crash gets 18 for gbh and his victim didnt die…… Hmmmm.may the deceaseds soul rest in peace and his wife, children , parents and family find comfort in Gods grace

  4. Gutter Poet October 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    As time drags on it tends to cloud issues which is why I must agree with you Ed, for dont they say, justice delayed is justice denied? But then might the long delay in the sentence have been caused by initial defence put up by the accused who may have been badly advised in the initial stages of the trial? Having said this, we have to also take into cognisance the issue of the deceased who was robbed of life in such a traumatic manner for her family? Ultimately both the family of the deceased and Manhenga were short changed by lady justice, both would have benefited from an earlier dispensation of her medicine.

    • Fonzie October 14, 2013 at 6:56 am #

      Lady justice didnt tell manhenga to drive without being licensed did she?the fact is she did it and murdered someone and we can’t blame it on the justice system because its not the system who told her to do that!

  5. PrinceTau October 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    Just becoz she is famous does not mean that she should be treated differently from others.

  6. JUSTICE October 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Just a sign of how our Justice system is incoherent. In Kwekwe in an almost similar case the wife of a Senior police officer driving without a license rammed into the wall killing a pedestrian on the pavement instantly and a woman with baby strapped to her back was also seriously injured. The baby was to die two days later from injuries sustained in that accident. So effectively she was responsible for the deaths two people. Her sentence hear this- “three months wholly suspended sentence”. SURELY A CASE OF SOME PEOPLE ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.

  7. maita October 14, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    Some of us think that because she had no license so she should really be punished but alas some unlicensed drivers are better drivers than licensed drivers. Some don’t have licenses because they cannot buy them and others have because it was delivered to them. She was to blame in this accident just like other licensed drivers who have killed along our roads. But my question is why it took 3 years. Whether I appealed or not it does not need to take 3 years for a case to be head. Our justice system needs delivery.

  8. Boss k October 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    18 months is little,she deserved far far more considering she kiiled someone worse off a breadwinner.Let her rot in jail.Anoshamiseiko iye vezvibvudzi hobho uyu???ngaaende ngaaende munhu uyu i…………..

  9. Nashe Munya October 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Let us just take a different angle to this case. If it was Dudu who had been hit by a car being driven by an unlicenced white driver would 18 months be enough for that driver, let us be honest what would we say Zimbabwe and Dudu’s fans be saying now.

    She did wrong and she should just pay for it. The fact of the delay should an issue being disputed by the deceased’s family because as for Dudu initially she pleaded not guilty and she continued with her life. She was travelling and working for her family which is a positive. I am sure she even enrolled at a bible school at that time.

    Celebrities need to be responsible and when you make mistakes or break the law you pay for that as simple as all that.

  10. Stan October 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    If we feel so deeply for her because she got that sentence, how much more for the lvictim let alone the family??? Let us be rational here, she should have followed the law from the start as an exemplary public figure….. LAW IS LAW!!

  11. Chokx October 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    Do the crime do the time.

  12. Chokx October 16, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    She now has all the time to compose good music will be waiting for her when she comes out . Stay strong jails were built for people not animals. Soon some top cops will join her

  13. Donovan October 22, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Isn’t it ironic that the law is what you called for taking long to hand down a sentence yet the lost life shall forever remain lost and missed by it’s dear ones!

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