ZNA Gushungo bomb plot suspect freed

BORMAN Ngwenya, 30, a soldier attached to Intelligence Corps who was on charges of trying to bomb the First family’s dairy farm early this year, walked free Tuesday after the court ruled that he was unfairly arrested and charged.

President Robert Mugabe's family dairy survived the 'sabotage'

President Robert Mugabe’s family dairy survived the ‘sabotage’

Ngwenya was being charged together with opposition Zimbabwe People’s Front president Owen Kuchata, already convicted on his own plea of guilty.

They were initially charged with Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa who were both freed before plea after the Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana decided to turn them to witnesses against their alleged accomplices.

This however also landed Tomana in the dock.

Harare regional magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni ruled that Ngwenya was a victim of circumstance adding that it was heartless for the state to free his accomplices to worsen his charges.

“The accused’s defence was clear and transparent and at the close of state case his defence stood taller than the state’s case,” Mthombeni said.

She added, “A number of witnesses who were present when the four were arrested came to testify and their evidence was coherent with the accused’s.

“They told court that upon arrest, the three soldiers, Ngwenya, Makumbe and Pfupa lied down in compliance with what their boss, Major Mashava had told them. Only Kuchata remained standing.

“The question then would be, why were you treated differently; why was the police not worried about you but Kuchata who they handcuffed and even went on to put leg irons on him.

“The evidence accused gave was clear that he was acting under army instructions as supported by your phone records and text messages.  His arrest and arraignment before the courts was unclear.

“It was unclear why charges were separated. There was unfair and unnecessary split of charges and the court hereby finds you not guilty and acquitted.”

There was jubilation after the ruling with Ngwenya’s relatives hugging each other and waving to the soldier who was still in the dock.

Ngwenya was being charged with money laundering and possession of weaponry for banditry.

After Tomana’s arrest, his accomplices were rearrested but charged with treason, banditry and terrorism together with Ngwenya and Kuchata again.

Mthombeni said the charges Ngwenya was facing could attract life imprisonment.

Kuchata is serving nine years for the same counts after he argued that he targeted Mugabe’s private property not state owned property as was being alleged.

Ngwenya was denying allegations saying he was acting under the instructions of Mashava who sent him to spy on Kuchata and set a trap after he received a message that the later wanted to do something bad to President Mugabe.

But Mashava reportedly disowned Ngwenya when the trial heated saying that the soldier was actually under investigations for being involved in politics.

Ngwenya and accomplices were arrested near the dairy farm which Kuchata intended to bomb to “revenge the suffering of Zimbabweans being caused by the President”.

 

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Post published in: Africa News

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