A SOLDIER who allegedly fired about 20 shots, killing his wife, her two siblings and injuring his 18-month- old daughter before shooting himself in an alleged failed suicide attempt in New Magwegwe, Bulawayo, following an infidelity row, has approached the High Court seeking bail.
Carlos Tinashe Chapeyema (23), who is attached to the Zimbabwe National Army Infantry Battalion Brigade in Battlefields in Kwekwe, has filed an application for bail pending trial at the Bulawayo High Court citing the State as the respondent.
Chapeyema who is a self actor, in his grounds of appeal said he is of ill- health and wants to seek medical assistance outside prison.
“I am in a bad health condition of which I cannot be treated while I am in prison since it has proved to be difficult. I suffered serious spinal, chest and abdominal injuries at the scene of the incident and I am now struggling to go to the toilet and urgently require a specialist,” he said.
Chapeyema, who has been bedridden for the past four months, is incarcerated at Khami Remand Prison.
He said he is a family man with four children and a grandmother to look after.
“I would like to be granted bail so that I can be able to take care of my children and grandmother while awaiting trial,” said Chapeyema.
He said he was not a flight risk, arguing that his passport is currently in the custody of his employers.
“I hereby submit that I have discharged the onus placed upon me in an application of this nature. I therefore pray that the application for bail succeeds,” said Chapeyema.
The State opposed bail, arguing that there was no guarantee that if granted bail, Chapeyema would not abscond given the gravity of the offence.
The State said Chapeyema was likely to interfere with witnesses. It also argued that there was likelihood that Chapeyema would commit suicide given that he once attempted to kill himself soon after the murder.
Chapeyema is due to appear in court on May 30 for routine remand.
He is facing murder and attempted murder charges.
According to court papers, on February 1 this year, Chapeyema went to his wife, Ashley Phiri’s house armed with an AK 47 assault rifle, which was loaded with a magazine of 20 rounds. When the door was opened, Chapeyema stormed into the house and started firing shots at Phiri and her siblings, Nkosivumile Ncube (16) and Rita Nkomo (23) killing them instantly.
Chapeyema then shot his daughter and in the process fractured her right leg before turning the rifle on himself. The child was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital’s intensive care unit.
He was arrested at the scene and the weapon used in committing the alleged offences was also recovered.
Chapeyema allegedly fired the shots during a power outage caused by the rains.
The couple lived in Mutare but the accused person’s wife had returned to her parents’ home in Bulawayo, accusing Chapeyema of physically abusing her.