Air force officer pleads guilty to colleague’s murder

AN Air Force staffer, who was arrested last month for allegedly murdering a workmate, pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared before a Harare magistrate Friday.Zimbabwe_Air_Force_emblem.svg

Blessmore Shatei, 24, told the court the he killed Venencia Bokosha, 19, at Bomb Dump guard point where she was on duty the evening of April 26.

“I was supposed to relieve her and I arrived late and she asked me why but I apologised. I then took hold of her gun and pulled the trigger by mistake and she died.

“I then pulled her off the spot and covered her with tree leaves, put her gun by her side and run away,” read Shatei’s statement.

However, prosecutors say Shatei tried to rape Bokosha and that the two were involved in a scuffle which was evident from marks on her body.

According to the state, the deceased reported for duty at Bomb dump guard point at Manyame Airbase at around 1 pm on the fateful day.

She was armed with an AK47 and a hand held radio and supposed to knock off at 6 pm that day.

She however did not return home after knocking off and her roommate, Linda Rudo Makaza, tried calling her several times but her number was not reachable.

Prosecutors said aircraft man Prince Maphosa, who was on guard at Technical area gate indicated that he saw Shatei going towards the Bomb Dump guard point around 6 pm dressed in his uniform

He later saw the accused again coming from that direction about an hour later.

At around 18:40 hrs, warrant officer Trust Jaravaza said he heard a gunshot coming from the Bomb Dump guard point when he was at his house.

A check was made at this site where the half-naked body of the deceased was discovered. There was no record to indicate that the deceased hand handed over the duty to the accused on the log book.

On the following morning when he was on duty again, around 6 am, Maphosa, saw the Shatei going towards the Bomb Dump guard point again.

This resulted in investigations which led to the arrest of Shatei after he was found spotting a torn combat jacket with blood stains, indicating that he had been involved in a scuffle with someone.