BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
THE trial of an Airforce of Zimbabwe (AFZ) pilot, who is facing a charge of killing his girlfriend in Gweru last year kicked off at the High Court in Bulawayo on Wednesday with three State witnesses taking to the stand.
Tashinga Musonza faces a murder charge after he fatally assaulted Lucy Duve in November last year in a crime of passion after accusing her of infidelity. The late Duve worked for a non-government organisation.
Musonza appeared before Justice Nokuthola Moyo.
First to testify was, Ellen Musopero, a neighbour to the deceased.
“When I woke up (around midnight on November 25 – the day in question), I heard the accused insulting the deceased while also threatening her. In a short space of time, I heard some movements outside the yard. When I peeped through the window, I saw Lucy stark naked running towards the gate,” Musopero said.
“Tashinga followed Lucy outside. I did not hear what they were discussing because the dogs were barking. I only heard a screaming noise from the deceased.”
She told the court that after the quarrel the two then drove to an unknown destination that same evening.
George Himalaya Makwenjere, a general duty pilot at Gweru’s Josiah Tungamirai Airbase told the court that Musonza had, on the same day, assaulted Duve in his presence after accusing her of cheating on him.
“I was called by Tashinga at midnight on the day of the incident. He was accusing me of going out with Lucy. From the tone of his voice, I could tell that he was enraged,” Makwenjere said.
After an hour, Makwenjere said, Musonza phoned him again saying he was coming with Duve to the Airbase to discuss the infidelity issue.
Makwenjere told the court that the accused started assaulting the deceased who fell to the ground and he proceeded to kick her while she lay on the ground.
Makwanjere said he and his girlfriend tried to restrain him, but failed and sought assistance from other colleagues to stop the assault.
Upon their return, they found Duve lying on the ground unconscious and in a pool of blood. Musonza later drove Duve to Clay Bank Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
An ex-girlfriend of the accused, Nokuthula Matsikaiti, who is an AFZ officer cadet also testified against Musonza.
Six more witnesses are still to testify, including Sanganai Pesanai, the pathologist who examined the deceased’s body.
Nokuthaba Ngwenya represented the State, while Kalvern Tundu of Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners represented the accused.