‘We wanted to bomb Chinese Embassy’

‘We wanted to bomb Chinese Embassy’ | The Herald March 21, 2016

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Four men accused of attempting to petrol-bomb the First Family’s Alpha Omega Dairy in Mazowe also targeted the Chinese Embassy in Harare, President Mugabe’s rural home in Kutama and to poison his pigs, it has emerged.

These revelations came out of a video filmed while one of the suspects was making indications to police, which was shown in court on Friday.

In the video, Borman Ngwenya (30), a soldier, is seen leading the police to the Chinese Embassy and telling them how they intended to bomb the place.

Ngwenya said he together with his alleged accomplice, Owen Kuchata who has since been jailed, went for reconnaissance at the embassy to identify loopholes which they could use to attack the place.

“Owen said we should bomb the embassy as well because the Chinese people were exporting money from Zimbabwe to their country, hence, we needed to send a clear message,” he said.

Ngwenya is seen in the video pointing to police the areas they had identified while Detective Inspector Morgan Chafa asks him questions.

They proceeded to President Mugabe’s rural home in Zvimba and stopped by a pigsty.

Ngwenya told the police that they had visited the place before for surveillance.

“Kuchata also said that we should poison the pigs. There is an area where the security fence was damaged, giving an easy access and we were supposed to jump over that fence and poison the pigs,” Ngwenya said.

The police officers asked him to show them the President’s home and he did so by pointing at the homestead.

He said after the reconnaissance, they were satisfied and boarded a kombi back to Harare.

When Kuchata, the leader of Zimbabwe People’s Front, testified as an accomplice witness against Ngwenya, he did not deny visiting the Chinese Embassy and the President’s rural home.

Prosecuting, Mr Michael Reza, asked him why they had visited those places in particular.

“Is it a crime to visit an embassy? Yes, I went there in the company of Ngwenya because I wanted him to see the Chinese Embassy. I was showing him around since I was their leader in our plans and he was a new member of my political party. I only showed him the Chinese Embassy,” he said.

He added; “It is also not a crime to visit the President’s rural home. Again I went with Ngwenya, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. We even passed through his (President Mugabe’s) pigsty and his house. So many people have visited the homestead of the leader of our country so I do not see anything sinister about our visit there.”

Regional magistrate, Ms Fadzai Mthombeni, deferred the matter to today when Ngwenya’s lawyer Mr Exactly Mangezi is expected to cross-examine Det Insp Chafa on the video proceedings.

Ngwenya is facing charges of possessing weaponry for sabotage and money laundering.

He, however, told the court that it was a military-sanctioned operation and that he had been tasked by his superiors from the Zimbabwe National Army to monitor and trap the culprit, Kuchata.

He said he kept one Major Mashava informed of the activities.

His lawyer produced proof in the form of phone records showing communication between Ngwenya and Major Mashava.

However, two police officers who arrested Ngwenya and his alleged accomplices said the phone records were irrelevant in the matter as no one knew what they talked about with Major Mashava.

The officers maintained that Ngwenya had a case to answer since he was arrested at the scene during the night.

Ngwenya’s alleged accomplices, Silas Pfupa and Solomon Makumbe, are also on remand awaiting trial.

The two soldiers are facing a charge of possessing weaponry for sabotage.

Kuchata did not go through trial as he pleaded guilty to the charges and was jailed for an effective nine years.

The quartet is facing an additional charge of treason.