BULAWAYO, Friday, October 7,1966 — The High Court, Bulawayo, was told yesterday that two men were given Russian-made hand grenades to throw at a meeting attended by the Prime Minister, Mr Ian Smith, in Bulawayo earlier this year.
Hezekiah Moyo, a 35-year clerk who is alleged to have supplied the men with grenades, was jailed for seven years for being in possession of offensive weapons — an offence under the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act. Passing sentence, Mr Justice JCR Fieldesend told Moyo that the possession of grenades was a “most serious offence”.
He added: “Just how serious it is many people don’t seem to realise. I hope this sentence will serve as a warning to them”. An African, whose name is being withheld at the request of the police, told the court that he was given a quantity of explosives, which included six hand grenades by another man in 1965. He was told to “look after them”.
The man, presently serving a seven-year term for being in possession of offensive weapons said he buried the explosives near his home. Some time later he was introduced to the accused. In March of this year, Moyo came to his house and asked for two grenades. Moyo told him he had two men who were prepared to use the grenades to “disturb” a meeting at which Mr Smith was speaking. Detective Section Officer, Lawrence A Ibbitt, said that in a statement made after their arrest Moyo admitted being in possession of the grenades.
Moyo told him: “I was instructed by the chairman to go round the branches to try and get 10 men who had enough courage to act on Saturday,” (the night Mr Smith was due to attend the meeting).
In court, Moyo denied all knowledge of the offence. He said he was at his kraal in the Essexvale area during the weekend he was alleged to have been given the grenades.