ZIMBABWE – President Mugabe would likely have returned home in a coffin after his trip to Asia in March this year as the fired Vice President Joice Mujuru plotted to down his plane.
The axed VP plotted to treason with the help of the incarcerated cleric Robert Martin Gumbura and coup plotter Albert Matapo, a Harare court heard Monday.
The allegations were made by chief state witness testifying against Gumbura and nine other inmates facing charges of an attempted jail break.
Claudius Mutizwa told the court that the disgraced cleric had recruited an army in jail and was planning to escape with the group after promising them a change.
He said if Gumbura and Mujuru’s plans had been successful there could have been a “blood bath” on Friday 13 February.
“Gumbura had the support of heavyweight politicians,” said the witness.
“The majority of prisoners had empathy with him and he had promised the deputy officer in charge at Chikurubi maximum prison, Jealousy Dumbura, heaven on earth after he complained that he had never been promoted ever since he was given his current rank twenty years ago.”
Mutizwa said Gumbura and his accomplice wanted to invade the political circles in “Boko Haram style.”
“Gumbura and his sympathisers burnt blankets on 13 February during the food riots as a way of signaling to their outside accomplices,” he added.
“They wanted to escape and had plans to invade various army camps with the help of Mujuru and grab weapons.
“Their first target was the Vice President; Emmerson Mnangagwa who was the acting President then. They also didn’t want Mugabe to land safely in Harare and plotted to kill him.”
Mutizwa made the allegations during cross examination by Gumbura’s lawyer, Tapson Dzvetero, who accused him of lying.
The defence attorney said it did not make any sense that a fugitive would want to contest in elections.
He said Mutizwa’s allegations were a lame and pathetic fallacy driven by unknown malice.
Dzvetero asked Mutizwa to name the heavyweight politicians involved in the plot as he claimed that Gumbura confided in him but the witness refused.
Mutizwa’s evidence on Monday marked the close of a three months of cross examination with Gumbura’s lawyer.
The trial is expected to continue with each of the remaining eight inmates’ cross examining Mutizwa before other 24 witnesses are called to testify.
Mutizwa has been evasive during his swearing and last week refused to give evidence after revealing that he was working as an undercover for the state.
Presiding magistrate Francis Mapfumo however, rejected his claims and ordered him to continue giving evidence.
Michael Reza is prosecuting and the trial continues Tuesday with Blessing Chiduke cross examining Mutizwa.
The nine inmates are being accused of inciting a food riot which left five inmates dead in a bid to escape from lawful custody.
They are also facing allegations of assaulting prison officers and damaging state property during the food riot but are all denying the charges.