A SOLDIER who allegedly fired about 20 shots, killing his wife, her two siblings and injuring his 18-month- old son before shooting himself in a suicide attempt in New Magwegwe suburb appeared in court yesterday.
Carlos Tinashe Chapeyema (23) who is based in Gweru and attached to the Zimbabwe National Army Infantry Battalion Brigade in Battlefields, Kwekwe, appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Franklin Mkhwananzi during a bedside court session conducted at Mpilo Central Hospital.
Relatives said Chapeyema and his wife lived in Mutare but she recently returned to her parents, accusing the soldier of physically abusing her.
Chapeyema is facing murder and attempted murder charges.
He was remanded in custody to February 16 and advised to apply to the High Court for bail.
Chapeyema and his son Tlowi Chapeyema, whom he shot once on the leg, are admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital.
The soldier, who was initially confined to the intensive care unit, has since been transferred to the male ward and he is under police and military guard.
His wife, Ashley Phiri (21) and her siblings, Nkosivumile Ncube (16) and Rita Nkomo (23) died on the spot.
Prosecuting, Mr Mclean Ndlovu said on February 1 this year, Chapeyema 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 the accused person stormed into the house and started firing gunshots at Phiri, Nkomo and Ncube, killing them instantly,” said Mr Ndlovu.
The court heard that Chapeyema then shot his son and in the process fracturing his right leg before turning the rifle on himself. The child was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital’s intensive care unit.
Chapeyema was arrested at the scene and the weapon used in committing the alleged offences was recovered.
Meanwhile, Mpilo Central Hospital clinical director, Dr Solwayo Ngwenya yesterday said both patients were out of danger.
He expressed condolences to the bereaved families.
“Doctors did their best to save the injured man and the baby’s life. He had obviously sustained serious damages to his body. Doctors are fully monitoring him and we hope his condition improves. The baby is also out of danger and his condition is stable. Both patients are now out of danger and are now both out of the intensive care unit,” he said.