THE State witness in the trial of military intelligence officer Borman Ngwenya — accused of sabotage and money-laundering following a botched bombing plot at Gushungo Dairy plant in Mazowe early this year — yesterday conceded that the latter had contacted a senior military officer before the alleged offences were committed.
by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Ngwenya is being charged with possession of four Molotovs which he allegedly intended to use in bombing the dairy plant in Mazowe on January 27 this year.
State witnesses Artwell Chimanga and Detective Sergeant Zvorwadza Chatikobo, who arrested the suspects, confirmed that Ngwenya was found in possession of a Nokia 1200 cellphone, black satchel with green trimmings, five cigarettes and a box of matches.
Ngwenya’s lawyer, Exactly Mangezi, asked Chatikobo to confirm if he knew about the mobile line that was in his client’s mobile phone, to which he replied he was not aware.
The lawyer then asked Chatikobo to switch on the mobile phone and demonstrate by calling the mobile number and the call went through.
Mangezi then produced the call record of the phone provided by Econet, which showed his client had communicated with a NetOne mobile number owned by the military.
According to NetOne, the line was registered in the name of the Army Signals Directorate.
Earlier during the proceedings, prosecutor Michael Reza tried to argue Ngwenya did not use the line since it was registered in the name of his wife, identified as Miss Marufu.
Ngwenya was initially jointly charged with Owen Kuchata and two other military intelligence officers, Silas Pfupa and Solomon Makumbe. Kuchata has since been convicted and sentenced to a nine-year prison term on his own guilty plea, while Pfupa and Makumbe had their charges withdrawn by Prosecutor-General (PG) Johannes Tomana.
But Ngwenya has pleaded not guilty to both charges and in his defence, claims he was on a military-sanctioned operation and was frequently reporting to one Major Mashava about the “project”.
The trial continues on Monday, with regional magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni presiding.