HARARE – A truck which delivered toxic sodium cyanide to Morton Jaffray Water Works in Harare belonged to the late Vice President John Nkomo, a top cop said yesterday.
Crispen Makedenge, a police chief superintendent, told a Harare magistrate during the trial of Farai Muchenje, Simon Demhe, Appronalise Mupakaviri and Tiki Tarwirei — who are accused of conspiring to deliver the sodium cyanide instead of aluminium sulphate at the Harare water works — that LA Cargo hired a truck belonging to Nkomo.
Makedenge also told the court the truck did not meet requirements of trucks transporting harmful chemicals.
“It (the truck) had no hazardous chemicals logo on it which is a requirement when transporting hazardous chemicals,” said Makedenge.
He told the court that Demhe, who was driving the truck, holds an expired hazardous chemicals holding licence and drove the truck from Beira fully knowing that he was carrying sodium cyanide.
The court heard there was a plan that a City of Harare employee was supposed to receive sodium cyanide.
Makedenge said the four had planned for unknown people to sneak into the water works at night and pour sodium cyanide into treated water.
He said the plan failed because the council superintendent at Morton Jaffray ordered workers not to accept any chemicals as the tanks were being cleaned.
The quartet denies the charge, saying it was a genuine mix-up and there was no sinister motive as alleged. – Ivan Zhakata