SUSPECTS found culpable in the delivery of toxic sodium cyanide to council for water treatment will be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, the Attorney-General's Office said yesterday.
Mr Morgan Dube of the AG's office said they had directed police to continue investigating the matter.
The probe is targeting the transporters.
"After going through the papers, we found conspiracy to murder the people of Harare to be the appropriate charge under the circumstances.
"Those responsible for the transportation of the chemicals had the correct documents showing they were delivering water treatment chemicals, but they actually delivered poison.
"There is an element of misrepresentation on the transporters' part. We have directed the police to proceed with the investigations in line with the preferred charge," he said.
Council yesterday allayed fears that residents were in danger of being exposed to the poisonous chemical.
Residents expressed outrage that the system allowed a dangerous chemical to be delivered to the water treatment plant.
This is not the first time a wrong chemical has been delivered there.
Recently, a certain firm delivered salt instead of granular aluminium sulphate.
Acting Harare Mayor Mr Emmanuel Chiroto said the city adheres to a rigorous testing routine of chemicals applied in the treatment process.
"There was no chance that the chemical was going to be used. Chemicals are not like manure that can be used willy-nilly," he said.
Clr Chiroto said residents should understand that the delivery was a mistake.
He said the tests determine whether or not supplied chemicals either meet required standards or match the samples that the city requires.
"If there is a slight difference, we return to the supplier. We test every chemical before we use it. Residents should not panic. We cannot expose them to such mistakes."
The acting mayor urged suppliers to cross check their deliveries to avoid causing alarm and despondency.
At least 19 tonnes of the poisonous sodium cyanide were erroneously delivered to Morton Jaffray plant.
Freight World, the agent that cleared the chemical, and LA Cargo - the contracted transporter - are trading blame for the mix up.
The correct consignment was, however, delivered.
Freight World managing director Mr Felix Nyaruwanga said LA Cargo was to blame for the wrong delivery.
But, LA Cargo official Mr Apronis Mupakaviri said blame should go to the clearing agent because it gave the driver wrong delivery instructions.
The sodium cyanide and aluminum sulphate were imported from India through CureChem on behalf of its customers.
The consignment comprised four containers of each chemical.
The chemicals entered Zimbabwe through Forbes Border Post.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention website, cyanide is a rapidly acting, potentially deadly chemical that can exist in various forms.
This can be a colourless gas, such as hydrogen cyanide (HCN) or cyanogen chloride (CNCl), or in crystal form such as sodium cyanide (NaCN) or potassium cyanide (KCN).
Hydrogen cyanide, under the name Zyklon B, is a fatal chemical that was once used as a genocidal agent by Germans during World War II.