Judgment reserved in pilot’s girlfriend murder
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese has reserved judgment in the matter in which an Airforce of Zimbabwe pilot accused of brutally murdering his Gweru-based girlfriend late last year is seeking bail pending trial.
Tashinga Musonza (29), who is being represented by Mr James Makiya of Makiya and Partners, allegedly killed Lucy Duve (32) in a crime of passion in November last year.
Musonza’s trial failed to kick off last week for the second time after his lawyer fell sick resulting in the matter being removed from the roll by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo.
Musonza is also challenging the presence of assessors on the High Court bench and has since filed a notice to appeal at the Constitutional Court.
The matter was remanded following an application made by the defence counsel to have the matter referred to the Constitutional Court.
Musonza, through his lawyer, filed an application for bail at the Bulawayo High Court citing the State as a respondent.
In his bail statement, Musonza argued that there were no compelling reasons justifying his continued detention.
“The applicant is entitled to his constitutional right to liberty and there is the assumption of innocence until proven guilty which must be considered in this matter. There are no compelling reasons to deny the applicant bail in this matter,” said Mr Makiya.
Musonza said he would not abscond or interfere with State witnesses if granted bail, arguing that the assertion by the State was mere speculation which lacks tangible evidence.
The State through Mr Nqobizitha Ndlovu opposed the bail application, arguing that there was no guarantee that if granted bail Musonza would not abscond due to the seriousness of the offence.
Mr Ndlovu said the State has a strong prima facie case against Musonza.
According to court papers, 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 alleged 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.
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