Gushungo Dairy is a milk processing company located at Gushungo Dairy Estate in Mazowe. The plant was built after 80 newly resettled farmers were forcibly removed from farms in the Mazowe area in January 2012. The products which range from ice cream and yorghut trade under the name Alpaha and Omega.
Owen Kuchata and his accomplices Solomon Makumbe, Borman Ngwenya and Silas Pfupa were arrested for attempting to petrol-bomb Alpha Omega Dairy farm in Mazowe. Makumbe and Pfupa were discharged on the charges at the behest of then Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana who was arrested for acting unlawfully by releasing the duo and was released on $1 000 bail with stringent conditions.
Kuchata pleaded guilty to trying to petrol bomb the dairy when he appeared before regional magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya in February 2016. Mr Mujaya asked if he had the right to do so and Kuchata in response said:
“Since I am representing the rights of other Zimbabweans, I had the right to bomb his private property because Robert Mugabe is causing disorder and problems in this country.”
He said he is the one who gave Ngwenya $36 to purchase the materials for making the petrol bombs. Kuchata later excepted to the charge of terrorism, arguing that Alpha Omega Dairy was not a Government property, but Robert Mugabe]’s private property, hence the terrorism charge did not stick.
Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza maintained that terrorism charges were appropriate, saying the attack was not targeted at the dairy as an outfit, but at the office of the Presidency of Zimbabwe. Kuchata said if that was the case then he was denying the charges and this prompted Mr Mujaya to change the plea to not guilty.
On the terrorism charge, Makumbe and Pfupa were released before plea under the instructions of Tomana who is said to have unilaterally suggested that the two be treated as witnesses.
It is alleged that in January 2016, police received a tip-off that Kuchata, Ngwenya, Makumbe and Pfupa were planning to bomb Alpha Omega Dairy’s processing plant and tuck shop during the night. Acting on the tip-off, the police proceeded to the farm and laid an ambush about 100 metres from the quartet’s target. round 10pm, the detectives saw the men approaching the dairy’s processing plant and immediately arrested them. They searched them and recovered four Molotov cocktails (bombs) made of petrol, ammonium nitrate, nails and sand in 750 millilitres Chateau brand empty bottles.