14 November 2017

Tanzania: Lulu Begins 2-Year Jail Sentence

Photo: Elizabeth Michael Kimemeta/Instagram
Elizabeth Michael Kimemeta

Bongo Movie actress Elizabeth Michael Kimemeta alias Lulu, yesterday began serving a two year jail sentence, a few hours after a court ruling.

Lulu was sent to a women's prison in Dar es Salaam after appearing before a court. The Assistant Superintendent of Prisons, Inspector Lucas Mboje confirmed yesterday that she was brought there as a normal prisoner and she was treated like other prisoners.

"She is here and treated like other prisoners, hence she is obliged to strictly observe all regulations like any other prisoner regardless her social status or gender," said Inspector Mboje.

The High Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday sentenced to two years' imprisonment Actress Elizabeth Michael Kimemeta, alias Lulu, for manslaughter following her allegation of killing former Bongo Movie Star Steven Kanumba in 2012.

Judge Sam Rumanyika convicted Lulu of the offence after taking into consideration of the evidence tendered by the prosecution and defence and other matters surrounding the commission of the offence on April 7, 2012 at Sinza Vatican areas in Kinondoni District.

Immediately after delivery of the judgment, advocate Peter Kibatala, who was defending the youthful and upcoming performer during the trial, told the Daily News that he would lodge an appeal against both conviction and sentence and then seek bail pending appeal.

During the trial, the prosecution led by State Attorney Faraja George called four witnesses to prove the charge against the accused, while Lulu gave her own defence testimony, which was supported by a statement recorded by Josephine Mushumbusi, who is described as a doctor with Kanumba.

Delivering the judgment, Judge Rumanyika pointed out that the prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence to prove the charge to the effect that it was Lulu, who was the last person to be with Kanumba before meeting his death.

Such evidence, he said, was also admitted by the accused in her defence. The judge further said it was the requirement of the law under such circumstances for the accused to provide sufficient explanations as to what had befallen to the deceased, failure of so doing the liability shifts and would be held responsible for the death.

He pointed out that such circumstantial evidence must point to the guilty of the accused, him or her alone and not any other person to have committed the offence. The prosecution's evidence which was also admitted by Lulu indicates that there was a quarrel between her and the deceased.

But in her defence, the judge noted, Lulu had testified that the deceased was drunk, but such line of testimony was highly doubtful, as she gave contradictory scenarios on the matter and no plausible explanations were given whether Kanumba had fallen down at any time because of drunkenness.

The defence evidence indicated that Kanumba had chased Lulu in the course of the fight at a certain distance and captured her. She was later forced into the bedroom before Kanumba starting beating her using one side of machete.

Judge Rumanyika said that it was against normal perception that she did nothing, including employing any defence mechanism to resist the attack even when she was threatened to be killed by the deceased.

On that alone, the judge said, the court has to draw adverse inference on the accused. According to him, one could argue that Lulu did all that because on April 7, 2012, she was 17 years old and, thus, she was a child.

But the judge pointed out that the life style the accused was living at the time could not be considered to be done by a child to be protected by the Child Act.

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