Gushungo Dairy bombers trial fails to kick off

THE trial of two soldiers accused of trying to petrol-bomb the former First Family’s Alpha and Omega Dairy Farm in Mazowe failed to kick off yesterday as the accused are awaiting a final response from the magistrates’ court on whether their prosecution was constitutional.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

The suspects, Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa, recently approached the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenging the constitutionality of their trial on terror-related charges.

However, the matter was referred back to the magistrates’ court after the ConCourt ruled that the referral did not raise constitutional issues.
Regional magistrate Hosiah Mujaya remanded the matter to February 28 for trial at the High Court.

Makumbe and Pfupa are being charged with possessing weaponry for sabotage and establishing a training base in Mapinga, Mashonaland West province, where they allegedly planned to commit terror acts, sabotage and banditry.

It is alleged that they proceeded to former President Robert Mugabe’s rural home in Zvimba where they carried out survellance to identify points to attack.
It is further alleged that they held several meetings at a hotel in Harare planning how they would attack.

Police received a tip-off that the four were allegedly planning to bomb Alpha Omega Dairy’s processing plant and a tuckshop during the night and arrested them after laying an ambush about 100 metres from their intended target.