Landmine would ‘not have killed’ Mugabe

FRIDAY, 4.00PM:

The soldier who removed the landmine intended to blow up Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s armoured Mercedes Benz (see below) said it was not powerful enough to penetrate the car’s armour.

Lance Corporal John Manunure told the treason trial of opposition leader Ndabaningi Sithole that the claymore mine was an anti-personnel mine. While it would have caused some damage to the car, it would not have killed the occupants. Sithole’s lawyer said he would lead expert evidence next week that even if the mine had caused serious damage, it would not have been able to kill.

THURSDAY, 4.00PM:

A CONVICT on Wednesday described how he waited for the “right time” to detonate a claymore mine intended to blow up Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s motorcade near the national sports stadium in Harare, Ziana news agency reports.


William Namakonya, a Malawian, was giving evidence in the Harare High Court on the third day of the treason trial of opposition Zanu Ndonga leader, the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole.

“I was waiting for 2pm because that was when the motorcade was going to pass. The right time did not come because I was arrested before it was time,” said Namakonya, clad in prison garb and wearing leg-irons.

He is serving 12 years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to possession of arms of war linked to the assassination bid on Mugabe on August 18, 1995.

Namakonya said the plan could not be executed because his accomplice — Philemon Feranando — panicked and fled as the presidential motorcade approached. He then destroyed the claymore mine at the ambush spot.

Feranando and Namakonya worked for Sithole as security personnel. Namakonya testified that Sithole was involved in the plan to kill Mugabe and sanctioned the collection of the two claymore mines, an AK47 assault rifle and ammunition from Mozambique.

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