HARARE – An Air Force of Zimbabwe pilot was beginning a 20-year jail term on Friday after he was convicted of beating and kicking his lawyer girlfriend to death.
Justice Nokuthula Moyo of the Bulawayo High Court said Tashinga Musonza, 29, had shown no remorse over the killing of Lucy Duve in a jealous rage last November.
Justice Moyo said Musonza had been particularly callous after delaying taking Duve to hospital following a violent beating because his concerns about being arrested.
When he finally drove Duve to the Clay Bank Hospital in Gweru, she was pronounced dead on arrival.
Musonza denied murder over the November 25 incident, claiming that Duve had hit her head against a table.
“In this case, the mitigation does not give any peculiar circumstances that warrant this court to tamper justice with mercy. The accused person assaulted a defenceless woman in a rather brutal manner,” Justice Moyo said.
“The brutality of the assault as evidenced by the post-mortem report and lack of contrition on the part of the accused person will guide this court to settle for the upper range of the bracket in sentencing in such cases. It is for these reasons that the accused person is sentenced to 20 years in jail.”
Musonza’s trial heard that on the night of November 25 last year, he visited Duve at a rented property where she lived and found her asleep. He accused her of cheating on him with his workmate, George Himalaya Makwenjere.
The court heard that after waking up Duve, Musonza ordered her to get into the car and drove to the Josiah Tungamirai Airbase (formerly Thornhill). He confronted Makwenjere, accusing him of having an affair with Duve, which Mkenjere denied.
Musonza flew into a rage and began assaulting Duve, punching and kicking her. Makwenjere, after failing to restrain Musonza, raced to a neighbour’s house to call for more help.
Makwenjere returned to find Duve lying unconscious in a pool of blood. Musonza returned shortly after and drover her to hospital but it was too late to save her.
An examination of Duve’s body showed she had a fractured skull, blood clots in her brain and damaged lungs.