Movie star jailed for death of famous lover
NAIROBI: A Tanzanian movie actress was on Monday sentenced to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter, over the 2012 death of her lover, who was one of the country’s most adored stars.
Elizabeth Michael, 22, who goes by the stage name “Lulu”, admitted to pushing her partner Steven Kanumba during an argument in their home, which resulted in his death.
According to the judgement, the court found that “evidence provided during the trial proved the accused involuntarily caused the death” of Kanumba, a rising young star in the country at the time.
Michael had said Kanumba, 28, was drunk and beating her at the time of the incident.
An investigation found that he died of a head injury.
Judge Sam Rumanyika said that even though she was a minor at the time “she was behaving as an adult”, and sentenced her to two years in jail.
Kanumba was buried in Dar es Salaam at a funeral attended by thousands of mourners.
Some of Tanzania’s biggest stars were seen in court for the ruling.
Michael, who began acting as a child, won a Best Actress award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival for her role in a movie called “Foolish Age”. Her 2015 movie “Mapenzi Ya Mungu” (God’s Love) was singled out at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
She also hosted several television shows in Tanzania.
She was driven to a prison in Dar es Salaam shortly after the verdict. Her lawyers have vowed to appeal the sentence.