KILLER SOLDIER’S VICTIMS BURIED SIDE BY SIDE IN TENSE CEREMONY
Three women who were fatally shot allegedly by a soldier who later turned the gun on himself in a suicide attempt in New Magwegwe suburb in Bulawayo last week, were buried side-by-side at West Park Cemetery yesterday.
Carlos Tinashe Chapeyema (23) who is based in Gweru and attached to the Zimbabwe National Army Infantry Battalion Brigade at Battlefields, Kwekwe, allegedly shot dead his wife, Ashley Phiri (21) and her siblings, Nkosivumile Ncube (16) and Rita Nkomo (23) at his in-laws’ house in New Magwegwe suburb in the early hours of last Wednesday.
Family members said the killings were connected to long standing disputes which include infidelity accusations.
Carlos also shot his 18-month old daughter, Tlowi Chapeyema resulting in her sustaining serious injuries.
Speaking during a funeral at the Roman Catholic Church in Magwegwe suburb, a relative to the deceased only identified as Mrs R Ndlovu, Phiri and Nkomo had each left behind two children, while Ncube finished Form Four last year.
“Both Phiri and Nkomo left behind two children each. Ncube had just written her Ordinary Levels and awaited her results. She died on the day that she had just collected her national identity card,” said Mrs Ndlovu.
Sources said the in-laws were insisting on the payment before burials could take place.
Both families declined to comment on the payments.
A relative said the two families were expected to meet after the burials to discuss the issue of lobola and compensation for the killings.
The soldier’s father, Mr Jeremiah Chapeyema yesterday said he was relieved that the shooting victims had been buried.
He said the incident was the saddest and hardest experience in his life.
Mr Chapeyema said Carlos and Tlowi were both recovering in hospital and he would visit them after the burials.
Last Friday, Carlos was remanded in custody to February 16 on his hospital bed at Mpilo Central Hospital by Bulawayo magistrate Mr Franklin Mkhwananzi.
He was advised to apply for bail at the High Court.
Carlos who is now out of the Intensive Care Unit, is under police and military guard.
Prosecuting, Mr Mclean Ndlovu said on February 1 this year, Carlos went to his wife’s home armed with an AK 47 assault rifle, which was loaded with 20 rounds. He allegedly knocked on the door demanding that she opens it.
“When the door was eventually opened, Carlos stormed into the house and allegedly fired randomly killing his wife Phiri and her siblings, Nkomo and Ncube. He also allegedly shot and seriously injured his daughter, Tlowi,” said Mr Ndlovu.
New Magwegwe Residents’ Association chairperson Mr Philip Karanda it was a relief that the bereaved family and that of Carlos were dealing with the issue in a peaceful manner.
“The families discussed and agreed to something and burial proceeded. We have laid them to rest and we pray for them, hoping they rest in peace,” he said.