The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier who shot himself Monday morning Lance Corporal Msanide Chimphepo had issues bothering him, Nyasa Times can reveal.
Chimphepo was on separation with his wife and had gone absent without official leave, also known as AWOL, for about two months.
“It’s not true that everything was alright with him. The morning he shot himself he was arraigned to appear before the CO (Commanding Officer) for several disciplinary issues. He had also skipped work for two months,” confided our source living at Kamuzu Barracks, where the soldier was posted and resided.
In normal military practice, a soldier in the MDF who has skipped work for 21 days automatically quits his or her being an employee of the force.
“With so many disciplinary issues, one wonders why the force still kept him around. He was a danger to others as well and arresting him for guard duty was the worst the superiors could do. He was a living bomb and luckily he only shot himself,” added the source, who fears some day such a soldier would also kill others or indeed bring havoc to both soldiers and civilians alike.
Acting MDF spokesperson, Lt. Paul Chiphwanya told the press Cpl. Chimphepo was a disciplined soldier and that the cause of the suicide was still being investigated.
“All I know is that he was a good soldier and was posted to guard duty at night at our barracks entry. I just heard he had shot himself and we are investigating the reason behind the incident,” he said.
This is the first time a serving soldier had shot himself in seeming suicide using his own personal gun and whilst on duty.