GWERU – An Airforce pilot who allegedly bludgeoned his lawyer girlfriend to death in a jealous rage is finally behind bars.
Tashinga Musonza, 29, was on Tuesday remanded in custody to January 28 to stand trial at the High Court for the alleged murder of Lucy Duve, 32.
Musonza was ordered released at his first court appearance by Gweru magistrate Thomas Gurajena, who ruled that police had detained him beyond the constitutionally permissible 48 hours.
The decision sparked outrage from lawyers and led to a street march by Duve’s family.
Gweru regional magistrate Phathekile Msipa took over the case on Tuesday when Musonza appeared for a routine remand.
Msipa threw Musonza in remand prison after an affidavit was read in court from the base commander of the Josiah Tungamirai Airbase (formerly Thornhill) who asked the court to keep the pilot in custody.
The commander stated that Musonza has a high-ranking position within the Airforce which gives him access, even to the armoury, making him dangerous considering the gravity of his case.
He could also interfere with state witnesses, some of them his subordinates, if released.
Musonza’s lawyer Pepukai Mabhundu of Mabhundu and Ndlovu Law Chambers did not attend court.
Duve’s murder has generated national interest, with civic society organisations closely monitoring the case.
Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Local Government Minister July Moyo are among governmentr officials who visited the Duve family in Bulawayo to express their condolences on the violent death of their daughter.
Duve died upon admission at Claybank Hospital on the evening of November 25 after succumbing to internal injuries including bleeding in the brain.
It is alleged she had been violently assaulted by Musonza, who accused her of cheating on him with a fellow soldier.-Zimlive