By Mashudu Netsianda
The trial date of an Airforce of Zimbabwe pilot accused of brutally murdering his Gweru-based girlfriend late last year is set to kick off on February 19 at the Bulawayo High Court.
The trial of Tashinga Musonza (29) was initially scheduled to start on January 28 before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa, who was on circuit in Gweru.
The matter was then remanded following an application made by the defence counsel to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court.
This was after Musonza’s lawyer, Mr James Makiya of Makiya and Partners had made an application to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court for the purposes of challenging the existence or presence of assessors on the High Court bench.
Musonza allegedly killed Lucy Duve (32) in a crime of passion in November last year.
According to court papers, 16 witnesses are expected to give their testimonies during the trial set to run from February 19-22.
Musonza allegedly fatally assaulted Duve who was working for a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) accusing her of cheating on him with his colleague.
It is the State’s case that on November 25, Musonza went to their lodgings at around 10PM and found Duve asleep.
He allegedly accused her of cheating on him with his colleague.
The two allegedly drove to the airbase since Musonza wanted the matter clarified.
They allegedly woke up Duve’s alleged lover who denied being in a relationship with her.
Musonza allegedly got furious and started assaulting his girlfriend.
His colleague tried to restrain him but was overpowered before he ran away from the scene to seek assistance from colleagues.
Upon their return they found Duve lying unconscious in a pool of blood.
Musonza later drove Duve to Clay Bank Hospital in the company of two of his colleagues and another female who was said to be Duve’s friend.
She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital leading to the arrest of Musonza.
A post-mortem report showed that Duve had a fractured skull, blood clots in her brain and that her lungs were affected by the attack among other injuries.
The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi, together with the Minister Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde July Moyo, visited the Duve family in Suburbs, Bulawayo, to console them after her death.
Cde Ziyambi said Government doesn’t condone violence against women and also assured Duve’s family that justice would prevail. The Chronicle