Shot 'like a dog'

Grieving father shares his pain

08 October 2019 | Justice

Bonifatius Hauthiku Muhapiri, the father of Muyevu Andreas Haushiku, who was gunned down by two Chinese businessmen at Andara in April, says he has become an angry person.

He was speaking outside the Mukwe periodical court, where Xuefeng Chen (29) and Zhenhai Zhou (31) were denied bail yesterday by Magistrate Sonia Samupofu.

His anger was still simmering when he bluntly said the two accused should “rot in custody”.

Although he is satisfied with the court's decision not to grant bail, he said since the day his son was shot on 17 April, he has experienced sleepless nights, which have affected him psychologically.

He is still waiting to be compensated for his son's death.

He says his flesh and blood was “gunned down like a dog”.

Muhapiri said whenever he feels hungry, his son comes to mind and he wants justice served.

“I am satisfied with today's ruling but the fact of the matter is that my son was the breadwinner of the family and now we lost him like a dog.

“I want to be compensated for the blood of my son. We are suffering, and as an unemployed man, it has become difficult to feed my family. At least when my son was alive, he was there to provide for us. Whenever we are hungry, my late son comes to mind,” Muhapiri said.

He is pleading with the state to make the accused pay for their alleged crime.

He wants them to remain behind bars forever.

Chen and Zhou, who both face charges of murder and discharging firearms in public, approached the court last month to formally seek bail.

They claim they acted in self-defence after being attacked with a steel hammer.

They also claim they are not a flight risk and that their lives are no longer in danger, as the public has come to terms with what happened.

Zhou denied the State's version that he had travelled from Divundu to Andara with the two guns, which were used to kill Muyevu.

He said he only arrived with his gun, which he carried with him at all times, and that Chen had his own firearm, which was under the counter of his shop.





Zhou said when he arrived at Chen's shop, the victim and Chen had already been involved in a heated argument.

He told the court that while he and Chen were behind the counter, they saw the deceased pick up a steel hammer inside the shop.

He claimed that when Muyevu approached them, Chen removed his gun from under the counter to defend himself.

Zhou said while Chen and Muyevu were scuffling, he saw that Muyevu was in a position to hurt Chen with the hammer.

It was at that point that he fired the first shots, while aiming at the right arm of deceased.

“My intent was not to kill. I took out my gun when I saw the deceased trying to beat Chen's head with a hammer. At that moment I did not want to kill; I simply wanted to disarm him by shooting at the arm which was armed (with the hammer),” Zhou testified.

He then demonstrated in court how Chen, who was falling, also shot the victim.

State prosecutor Steven Haradoeb described Zhou's testimony as “far-fetched”.



Not persuaded

Magistrate Samupofu said in her ruling yesterday that after considering the evidence presented she was not persuaded by the defence's arguments

“The court considered that it is not going to be in the interest of justice to release the suspects on bail,” Samupofu said.

“The offences the two accused are charged with are serious ones. The accused persons are not disputing that they shot the deceased, meaning they have a case to answer to. The State has proven it has a strong case, as it comes with a hefty sentence.

“There is a possibility that they might abscond. Accused one testified that he knows the two State witnesses of which one is a former employee, therefore if released on bail they might interfere with the investigation.

“The court has taken note of the testimony that the business of the accused has been suffering ever since they were arrested. However, apart from the business registration documents presented in court, no other supporting documents were presented to show the court how much they were making before the arrest and while they were in custody.

“Therefore, if the court has to compare the arguments and evidence, the one of the State carries more weight. With all evidence taken into account, I am not moved by the defence. Therefore the application is refused,” Samupofu added.

The matter was postponed to 21 January 2020 for further police investigation.

Samupofu informed Haradoeb this will be the final remand for investigation purposes.

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KENYA KAMBOWE