THREE 1 Independent Company Zimbabwe National Army soldiers based in Beitbridge, accused of killing a Zimbabwe Christian Church worshipper, Jervas Masvina, yesterday denied the charge when they appeared at the Magistrates’ Courts.
At the confirmation of their statements yesterday, Ngqabutho Khoza, Emmanuel Gandidzanwa and Oscar Mutambisi gave different reasons, all in denial.
Khoza, whose firearm ejected the killer shot, said it was an accidental discharge during a tussle with one of the worshippers.
“I did not even know I had shot dead a person. One of the people tried to wrest the gun from me and it discharged,” Khoza said, claiming he left the firearm at the crime scene.
Gandidzanwa distanced himself, saying he did not, in any way, assist in the shooting, adding he made his statement willingly.
Mutambisi said he was far from the scene and did not take part in the act.
“I was unarmed. I did not even have a rifle and was metres away from the scene,” he told the court, where the gallery had been cleared, except for relatives of the trio.
On July 27, the trio allegedly shot dead Masvina who, together with other worshippers, had gone up a hill for an all-night prayer.
At dusk, the worshippers were approached by Khoza, Gandidzanwa and Mutambisi who ordered them to lie down.
Masvina was allegedly fatally shot during the melee that ensued.
Resident magistrate Langton Mukwengi presided over the confirmation of statements, while Jabulani Mzinyathi appeared for the accused three.