An ex-corporal and Special Forces (SAS) training dropout, Tendai Kandima, was convicted by the military for a grenade attack at the VIP tent at White City Stadium on 23 June 2018, it has emerged.
The attack occurred as President Emmerson Mnangagwa was leaving the tent after a ZANU PF campaign rally.
Two security aides were killed while several high-ranking ZANU PF officials were injured.
Kandima was convicted by a military court martial in February 2019, but the case was kept a secret.
According to court documents obtained by The Standard, Kandima said he was detained at an unknown remote area following his arrest after he “confessed” that he was behind the attack.
He said he made the “confession” after he came across a message offering monetary rewards for people with information about the assassination plot.
Kandima was in India for medical attention for a chronic heart ailment on the day the incident happened.
He is now appealing against both the conviction and the sentence. In his appeal at the Supreme Court, Kandima’s legal team from Lawman Law Chambers said:
He has got a heart problem whereby he cannot stand for a long time, which is a very serious condition.
He was in India from June 13 up to June 26 that is when he was going through all those examinations.
The accused has no capacity whatsoever to conduct the said allegations in that charge considering the fact that the military training that he has received since the date of attestation up to the present day, he just did basic military training, medical training class 3 and 4.
So with these courses, I do not think that he was in any position or any capacity or condition to conduct such allegations.
Kandima does not deny making the statements, and his lawyers said he thought he was going to get a £1 000 reward that was offered for information that may lead to the arrest of the culprits.
The offer was made by one Kerina Mujati through a WhatsApp group. Kandima’s lawyers said he thought he was going to get the money. Reads the court papers:
The accused…has made his falsehoods as highlighted on the charge after the said lady, as mentioned, had promised to give him £1000.
So the accused member thought this would be the chance to have that money not knowing that he is committing a crime.
So all these falsehoods were peddled just because he was promised.
The accused had no capacity whatsoever to conduct the said allegations in that charge.
Kandima also alleged that he was not afforded a fair trial, saying he was denied access to legal representation and communication with the outside world before trial.
The government roped in bomb experts from Belarus to work with the Criminal Investigations Department and Military Intelligence in investigating the grenade attack.
The Belarussians concluded that the explosive device was an offensive fragmentation grenade made in Russia and thrown in the direction of Mnangagwa from a distance of 17-20metres.
More: The Standard