A man from Binga left villagers from his community in shock when he shot three times into the air in a military style gun salute for his late father who once served in the Rhodesian army.
The incident took place last week in Sianungu Village under Chief Siansali where villagers had just finished burying Gideon Muchimba who served as a soldier in Ian Smith’s regime.
The late Muchimba’s son, Jefati Muchimba (33), shot three volleys into the air, a ceremonial act performed at military and sometimes police funerals, moments after his father’s burial.
Jefati claimed that his father instructed him to do so as he wanted to be accorded a hero’s burial after serving in the Rhodesian army.
The majority of mourners had departed from the graveyard when the three volleys were discharged. Jefati pleaded guilty to unlawfully discharging a firearm at a public place when he appeared before Binga magistrate Mr Talent Phiri last Friday.
The magistrate quizzed him why he committed the offence and he said he was fulfilling his late father’s wish.
“My father told me when he was still alive that when he dies I should shoot three times into the air and make a gun salute for him. So I was fulfilling a promise I made to him and his wish,” said Muchimba.
The magistrate slapped Jefati with three months in jail but suspended one month on condition of good behaviour.
Prosecuting, Mr Bruce Maphosa said Jefati was a repeat offender after he was once arrested for failing to secure the same firearm some time ago.
Mr Maphosa said the man was once found asleep at Binga bus terminus with the gun on the ground next to him.
He escaped with a caution at that time.
“On October 15, 2018 at around 11AM, the accused, who is a licensed holder of a Baikal shotgun which he was given for purposes of crop and livestock protection, discharged three live rounds of ammunition from the gun in a public place,” said the prosecutor.
He said police from Kariangwe Station rushed to the scene after a report was made and arrested Jefati.
The gun and 18 live rounds of ammunition as well as one spent cartridge were recovered at the homestead.
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