No joy for Gushungo bombing suspects

Source: No joy for Gushungo bombing suspects | The Herald

Court Reporter

The court yesterday turned down a request by four men, including jailed Zimbabwe People’s Front president Owen Kuchata, suspected of plotting to bomb the First Family’s dairy farm in Mazowe, to be removed from remand. Harare magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande said the charge of treason that they are facing was a complex matter.

“The defence argued that the other charge of banditry that they were also facing was quickly concluded, but this is indeed a complex matter which requires that investigations be done properly and efficiently,” said Ms Makwande.

“State is justified to require more time to investigate and if the accused are convicted, they face life imprisonment.

“State already has a trial date for the accused and they will be indicted to the High Court in the first quarter of next year, it will be a rush to remove the accused on remand.”

Kuchata is serving nine years for banditry and money laundering.

In their application for refusal of further remand the quartet said the State was violating their constitutional right to a fair and public trial by failing to indict them to the High Court.

Kuchata is jointly charged with Borman Ngwenya, a soldier attached to military intelligence; Ngwenya Solomon Makumbe (29), also a Zimbabwe National Army corporal; and Silas Pfupa (37), an ex-soldier.

They are facing treason charges.

Makumbe and Pfupa are represented by Mrs Gamuchira Dzitiro, while Ngwenya is represented by Mr Exactly Mangezi.

Kuchata is a self actor.

The quartet allegedly established a militia training base in Mapinga, Mashonaland West province, where they planned to commit terror acts, sabotage and banditry.

Mr Mutizirwa alleged that on January 1, this year, they allegedly proceeded to President Mugabe’s rural home in Zvimba where they carried out reconnaissance to identify suitable vulnerable points to sabotage.

It is alleged the four held several meetings at Queen’s Hotel in Harare mapping out strategies on how they would strike.

Police received a tip-off that the four were planning to bomb Alpha Omega Dairy’s processing plant and a tuckshop during the night.

Acting on the tip-off, the police proceeded to the farm and laid an ambush about 100 metres from the quartet’s target.

At around 10 pm, the detectives saw the men approaching the processing plant and immediately arrested them.