2 February 2016

Zimbabwe: State Now Charges Gushungo Dairy Bomb Suspects With Treason

Photo: The Herald
Mugabe visits his Alpha Omega Dairy plant (file photo).

THE State has changed to treason, charges against two Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) corporals who allegedly connived with an opposition activists and an ex-army officer to bomb President Robert Mugabe's Alpha Omega Dairies.

Zimbabwe People's Front leader Owen Kuchata, 34, ZNA corporals Borman Ngwenya, 30, Solomon Makumbe, 29, and an ex-soldier Silas Pfupa, 37, appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe facing treason charges on Monday.

They were initially charged with possession of weaponry for sabotage and money laundering and terrorism.

Makumbe and Pfupa were later released after the State opted to use them as witnesses against their alleged accomplices.

The two were re-arrested two days after their release in a case that has seen prosecutor general Johannes Tomana also charged with obstructing the course of justice.

The state being represented, by Michael Reza, on Tuesday said evidence gathered by the police showed that the four were plotting a serious offence.

"I understand that the accused persons initially appeared in this court on other charges relating to the same incident.

"More evidence has been gathered and the State, now, charges the accused persons with treason," he said.

According to the State sometime in August last year, the suspects held several meetings at Queens Hotel in Harare and planned to subvert a constitutionally elected government.

Pursuant to their plan, the quartet went to Mapinga in Mashonaland West and formed a camp from which their members would be trained and operate.

On January 1, they went to Mugabe's rural home in Zvimba and carried out surveillances to identify suitable vulnerable points to carry out the sabotage.

They later met on January 19 at Queens Hotel and resolved that they would use fertilizer bombs to fulfill their mission.

On January 22, and at around 4pm, police received a tip off that the quartet were planning to bomb Alpha and Omega dairies processing plant and tuck-shop during the night.

It is alleged that the quartet accused Mugabe of causing suffering to Zimbabweans because of his "dictatorial leadership".

Police detectives proceeded to the farm and laid an ambush about 100 meters from the quartet's target.

Around 10pm detectives saw the suspects approaching the dairy's processing plant and immediately arrested them.

They searched them and recovered four Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs), ammonium nitrate, nails and sand in 750-milliliter Chateu bottles.

All four will be back in court on February 16.

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