THE High Court in Dar es Salaam is expected to deliver the judgment today in the trial of Actress Elizabeth Michael Kimemeta, alias Lulu, who is charged with manslaughter for killing without intention former Bongo Movie Star Steven Kanumba in 2012.
Judge Sam Rumanyika, who conducted the trial, will decide on the fate of the youthful and upcoming performer on her guilty to the charge or otherwise after going through the evidence produced by the prosecution and defence.
In the trial, the prosecution led by State Attorney Faraja George called four witnesses to prove the charge against the accused, while Lulu under guidance of her advocate Peter Kibatala gave her own defence testimony, which was supported by a statement recorded by Josephine Mushumbusi.
Already the court assessors, who were assisting the judge to try the matter, have advised the court to convict Lulu of the offence following the evidence tendered.
According to the law, the opinions of court assessors at the High Court level, on the guilty or otherwise of the accused person, are not binding upon the judge.
The trial judge could reject the advice given by the assessors and what he is required is to assign reasons for taking such a position. Before allowing the assessors to give their opinions on the trial, Judge Rumanyika summed up the prosecution and defence’s evidence to enable them advice the court on whether or not the prosecution has discharged its burden of proving the case beyond reasonable doubt.
He told the assessors that in any criminal trial, it was duty of the prosecution to prove beyond doubt that it is the accused and not any other person, who committed the offence. According to him, it was not the duty of the accused to prove her innocence.
The judge pointed out, however, that in the case in hand, the prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence to prove the charge against the accused person and that in manslaughter charges, the prosecution was not obliged to prove the malice aforethought as an important element.
The important element to be proved in such cases, he said, includes whether there was a quarrel between the two.
Therefore, the judge said, the assessors were obliged to advise the court under such circumstances without fear, showing mercy or promise, but based on the evidence presented.
“If you will be satisfied that the death was a result of the quarrel among the two (Lulu and Kanumba) and whether you will be convinced that the accused was not involved in such death, you should not hesitate to advise the court,” the judge said.
In the trial, Lulu is charged with killing Kanumba without intention on April 7, 2012 at Sinza Vatican areas in Kinondoni District. Lulu has denied the charge and was out on bail.