Fungai Lupande Harare Bureau
THE court yesterday granted access to telephone communication between one of the suspects accused of attempting to petrol-bomb the First Family’s Alpha Omega Dairy Farm in Mazowe and an army official he communicated with over the offence. In her ruling, magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni also ordered the ownership details of Alpha Omega Dairy to be availed to the defence.
She said the accused faced life imprisonment if convicted and therefore needed all the documents to prepare his defence.
“State must avail to the accused all the necessary documents to prepare his defence,” Mthombeni said. “Access to service provider for mobile numbers 077 709 **** and 071 680 **** is hereby granted. The State must serve the defence with documents of ownership of Alpha Omega Dairy.”
However, Mthombeni ruled that it was improper to split charges and evidence during trial will clarify interpretation of the charges.
This came after Borman Ngwenya, 30, — who is a member of the ZNA attached to 1 Field Regiment — requested the court to order Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and NetOne to produce printouts of his mobile number and that of the army officials he communicated with.
Ngwenya, through his lawyers, Musindo Hungwe and Exactly Mangezi said in his defence he wanted to prove telephone communications between him and certain members of the ZNA relate to the charges before the court.
He also wants charges of terrorism quashed on the basis that Alpha Omega Dairy is not a state property. Ngwenya also argues that there was improper splitting of charges by the state. Mthombeni remanded the matter to March 7 for trial continuation.
Ngwenya’s alleged accomplice, Owen Kuchata, 34, who is the leader of Zimbabwe People’s Front political party, was sentenced to nine years for the sabotage attempt.
The prosecutor Michael Reza will call Kuchata as a State witness. It is alleged that on January 22 around 4PM, police received a tip-off that the four were planning to bomb Alpha Omega Dairy’s processing plant and tuck shop during the night.
Acting on the tip-off, police proceeded to the farm and laid an ambush about 100 metres from the quartet’s target. At around 10PM, the detectives saw the men approaching the dairy’s processing plant and immediately arrested them.