Accused says he shot fellow soldier by mistake

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
An Air Force of Zimbabwe soldier, who allegedly shot and killed his female workmate after attempting to rape her before hiding the corpse in a bush, yesterday confirmed killing the woman.

Blessmore Shatei (24) had his extra-curial statements confirmed by the magistrate, Mr Tendai Mahwe.

He confirmed that the statement he gave to the police admitting to killing the woman was not recorded under duress.

After killing the woman at Manyame Air Base, Shatei stole her mobile phone, which he gave to his young brother.

He dragged the corpse into a bush and concealed it under gumtree leaves.

However, in his statement Shatei said that the gun accidentally discharged killing 19-year-old Vennah Bokosha.

“On 26 April around 6pm, I was supposed to (relieve) Bokosha who had been on duty. When she handed me the gun, it accidentally discharged and she was shot in the head and she died instantly. I dragged her body into a bushy area and hid the corpse. I took her mobile phone and disappeared from the scene,” read part of the statement.

Mr Mahwe filed the statement in the record and will be used during trial.

Shatei was remanded in custody to May 28.

He is facing murder charges.

Prosecutor Mrs Idah Mateke-Maromo alleged that Bokosha commenced duty around 1pm at Bomb Dump on April 26.

She was armed with an AK rifle serial numbers ZA59010 and an icom radio.

Shatei was supposed to relieve the now deceased at 6pm.

He was seen leaving his house around that time and arrived at Bomb Dump where he proceeded to the control room to get an icom radio.

A gunshot was heard coming from the direction of Bomb Dump and Shatei was seen leaving the area moments later by Prince Maphosa and other officers from Flight (1) Dog Sec- tion.

It is the State’s case that Shatei had shot Bokosha on the left side of her face after allegedly trying to rape her.

He reportedly covered Bokosha’s body with gumtree shrubs and dragged her into a bush before stealing her Huawei cellphone.

The body was discovered by her roommate, Linda Makaza, the following day and her combat army trousers were lowered to knee level.

Shatei’s bloodstained army combat jacket and a torn green army jersey were recovered from his room.