HARARE - The Zimbabwe People’s Front (ZPF) political party president accused of attempting to bomb the First Family’s Alpha Omega Dairies in Mazowe will be sentenced on insurgency charges today.
ZPF president Owen Kuchata, 34, pleaded guilty to charges of possession of weaponry for sabotage, money laundering and terrorism.
“When the interpreter translated the facts from Shona to English, I got the impression that they alleged that Alpha Omega Dairies was a public institution yet it is Mugabe’s private property, that is the reason I had disputed the charge,” Kuchata said.
“I have since gone through the State outline and plead guilty to the initial charges but refute committing treason.”
Kuchata is jointly charged with Borman Ngwenya and faces a sentence of up to life imprisonment.
Their accomplices Solomon Makumbe, 29, and Silas Pfupa, 37, were discharged after a plea bargain that has landed the Prosecutor- General Johannes Tomana in soup.
They were later jointly charged with treason emanating from the same incident.
Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya ordered the State to furnish the court with a certification from Standards Association of Zimbabwe proving that the petrol bombs were lethal before the sentence is handed down today.
Prosecutor Michael Reza alleged that sometime in August last year; the accused persons held several meetings at Queens Hotel in Harare and planned to subvert a constitutionally-elected government.
On January 1, they allegedly went to Mugabe’s rural home in Zvimba and carried out surveillance to identify suitable vulnerable points to carry out the sabotage, the State claims.
They later met on January 19 at Queens Hotel and resolved that they would use fertiliser bombs to fulfil their mission, the court was told.
On January 22 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 metres away and arrested them, the court heard.
They searched them and recovered four Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs), ammonium nitrate, nails and sand in 750 millilitres brandy bottles.
A search of the accused also recovered ZPF party manifesto, party constitution and documents relating to party activities, the State claims.