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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Animal farm...

"Some animals are more equal than others". So goes the famous line from George Orwell's popular book Animal Farm. This phrase popped into my head after reading a few minutes ago that Dudu Manhenga has been released on a $200, yes a $200 bail. For those reading this from outside Zimbabwe, Dudu Manhenga is a popular Zimbabwean jazz musician. Three years ago, she ran over and killed a motor cyclist...whilst driving alone with only a learner's licence. For whatever reason, (I assume the State was gathering evidence), the case only went to trial this month and she was sentenced to 18 months in prison. 

Now, here is where most people have issues with this whole scenario. First, if this had been some ordinary Tom, Dick or Harry, I'm sure they would have been arrested, charge and incarcerated within months of the incident occurring. Secondly, they would have gotten a hell of lot more time than 18 months too! Third, to top it all off, she has just gotten bail for $200! I'm no lawyer but this is just not right. Not right at all. I don't think the law should be selective. For every action there is is a consequence. It should not matter who you are or what you do. What message does this send out to society? As long as you're popular enough or have enough money, you can, quite literally as in this case, get away with murder? My other big concern is what message this sends out to the family of the deceased man? That they don't matter? That the unlawful death of their relative is so insignificant that it does not warrant the full wrath of the law? Listen, I'm quite sure it was an accident for noone wakes up in the morning and says, "Hey, let me go knock down some people on the road today". It was an accident and accidents do happen. I can actually imagine the horror Dudu must have felt when she realised she had knocked someone down and worse still when he passed on. But she was in the wrong. She made a choice to go out driving, unsupervised when she knew full well she was not licenced to do so.

Dudu Manhenga
I'm quite shocked at the way some people think though. I've been following several threads on Twitter and Facebook on this story. Someone has the audacity to say Dudu is the victim. Really? REALLY? Wow. Last time I checked she was alive, kicking and going home to her family whilst the actual victim is 6 feet under somewhere. The way I see it is this. Due to questionable laws and processes, I would not be surprised if she gets let off the hook i.e. does not spend anymore time in prison. But you know what? If she is a normal human being, with a normal thought process, and a shred of a conscience, she will be in her own prison for a long, long time. A man died due to her actions. A woman is now a widow and children fatherless. Someone has lost a brother, an uncle, a son, a friend. She took a life. I don't ever want to know that feels like. Personally, I think this is the kind of incident that can drive a person mad. That is something that will always be hanging over her head. Always. This case has the same sort of unpleasant odour as the Zimmerman case.

My prayers go out first to the Millward family. I pray they find peace even though justice may not be carried out. I also pray they find it in their hearts to forgive Dudu as forgiveness will be more for their own good than for hers (Even if she goes to prison forever, that will still not bring back the dead). I also pray for Dudu herself. That this tragic situation may somehow have a positive life lesson for her and that she can also forgive herself. Lastly, I pray for our legal system. They just need to get their sh*t togther, pull up their effin socks and get with the program. #ThatIsAll