It was about 10 am, Sunday, June 9, 2013, when young Gideon Cheli, a Form I student of GHS Besali in Wabane Sub-division, Lebialem Division, South West Region, accidently shot his sister, Cheli Julie, aged seven, to death.
Gideon, who was promoted to Form Two in the last academic year, was playing with his sister with their father’s gun.
Menkeng Benjamin (the father of the children) had just returned from a fruitless hunting expedition the previous night.
Eyewitness said the children were playing hide-and-seek with the gun not knowing that it was still loaded.
Gideon is said to have shot and shattered the face of Julie, a Class Three pupil and she died on the spot.
Gendarmes from the brigade post of Bechati arrested Menkeng, in his early fifties, together with his son.
The duo is awaiting trial at the gendarmerie post in Menji.
Even though Besali village is not known for excessive hunting following a series of conservation and community education conducted in the village by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), there are still some spotted cases of illegal hunting going on in the village.
While there may be a myth attached to such killing, there is still a huge need for more sensitization for local communities to drop their guns.
By Forbe Hodu