Thursday, 1 September 2016

ARMS CACHE AT DOMBOSHAWA FARM

Police have launched full-scale investigations into a case in which ammunition manufacturing equipment and thousands of bullet heads and empty cartridges were discovered at a farm in Domboshava on Tuesday. 

The discovery was made following the eviction of white commercial farmer Geofrey Kelly McKinnon (66) from the property by the messenger of court.His farm was recently gazetted and allocated to four beneficiaries under the land reform programme, but he has been refusing to vacate.

Last Friday, the High Court ordered McKinnon and his son Mark to vacate.
“Leave is hereby granted for the applicants to execute the order for eviction. Not withstanding the noting of an appeal by the respondents, the Sheriff is hereby authorised to proceed with the execution of the order of this court as granted on 4 March 2016,” reads part of the order by High Court judge Justice David Mangota.

Police have since been deployed to guard the farm house where the cartridges and the 
 machine were discovered.

It is also suspected that McKinnon could have hidden several other guns, including AK 47 assault rifles, which he was keeping for unknown reasons at the farm house.

Police only discovered four rifles at his house and there were no documents to support the farmer’s ammunition business.

Police sources yesterday said when the messenger of court arrived at the house, McKinnon used the back door to stash some of the weapons in his vehicle, among other various goods and hid them at an unknown place in the city.

When the Herald arrived at the farm house yesterday, the messenger of court was in the process of taking outside, some of the property that McKinnon had left at the house.
The ammunition making machine, which had some gun powder and the cartridges, were in one of the rooms in the house.

Some of the cartridges were packed in small boxes, while others were scattered in the room. Several cartridges for AK 47 assault rifles and other unidentified rifles, were also in the room.

One of McKinnon’s employees who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was not aware that McKinnon was in the habit of manufacturing ammunition.

“I have been here for more than 20 years and he would not allow anyone especially us his employee to enter his house. This is my first time to enter this house,” said the employee.
By late yesterday night it was still not clear what he wanted the bullets for as security agents were yet to visit his house for further investigations.

In 2006 police discovered an arms cache at Peter Hitschman’s house in Mutare, which included an AK 47 riffle, four FN riffles, seven Uzis, 19 pistols and revolvers, 11 shotguns and an assortment of ammunition.

The dangerous weapons were allegedly meant to commit acts of banditry, insurgency, sabotage, and terrorism.

Hitschman was in 2007 jailed for three years for possessing dangerous weapons but was acquitted on far more serious insurgency and terrorism charges that allegedly involved a plot to kill President Mugabe.

He had one year of his four-year jail term suspended by the High Court judge on circuit in Mutare, Justice Alfas Chitakunye presided. herald

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