Exhibits go missing in soldiers' case

HARARE - Four bullets and two spent cartridges have reportedly gone missing in a case involving a gun-toting soldier who fired shots at his wife and in-laws during a marital dispute, the court has heard.

A police officer, Louis Terera who attended to the scene of the crime told Harare regional magistrate Clever Tsikwa while giving evidence that the bullets which were part of exhibits were missing.

The soldier, Patrick Mubaiwa, 41, left two cops scurrying for cover after he fired two gunshots at them as he allegedly attempted to kill his wife and in-laws in the heated domestic dispute.

Mubaiwa who is a member of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, based at its Borrowdale headquarters is facing charges of threatening to commit murder and negligent discharge of a firearm.

Giving evidence, Terera told the court that he recovered 12 rounds of ammunition and two spent cartridges, but only eight were produced in court, while the cartridges could not be located.

“I do not know how the four rounds disappeared, but I brought all the 12 rounds. They could have been lost between the police station and the court,” said Terera.

Mubaiwa’s lawyer Simon Mupindu told the court there was something “fishy” concerning the disappearance of the bullets. He claims the police were the ones who fired the shots in a bid to nail his client.

Mubaiwa is accused of firing the shots at his wife and in-laws after he had a marital dispute with his wife of 11 years, Rudo Chigumira.

It is alleged the two had some domestic dispute, leading to Chigumira leaving their matrimonial home.

The court heard Mubaiwa phoned Chigumira on April 29, this year advising her to return home, failure of which he said he was to kill either her, her mother or her father.

He is alleged to have fired shots at two police officers who were at his in-laws’ house using a 9 mm CZ pistol, before he drove off.

During investigations, a spent cartridge was recovered in the yard and a bullet head was found in the vehicle boot.

Mubaiwa was arrested the following day leading to the recovery of the firearm.

He will be back in court on October 9 for defence case, following the closure of the state’s case on Monday. - Tendai Kamhungira

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