Police in Zimbabwe are holding a local employee of the United States stage aid agency USAID in connection with an alleged attack in December on the country's air force boss, Air Marshall Perence Shiri, court documents revealed Wednesday.
Frank Muchirahondo, 36, a driver with the agency, is being held at a remand prison in Bindura, around 80 kilometres north-east of the capital Harare, in connection with the attack on Shiri, who was reportedly shot in the hand by unknown assailants while driving in the area, reported dpa.
Muchirahondo was arrested at a border post with Mozambique on 22 January, court documents lodged at the High Court, where he is applying for bail, showed. He faces charges of attempted murder.
Police documents say Muchirahondo's vehicle "was seen leaving the scene of the crime." Muchirahondo, who has denied the charges, says he does not own his own vehicle nor a gun and has no reason to want to kill Shiri.
His bail application is expected to be heard Thursday.
Muchirahondo is the first person to be arrested in direct connection with the reported attack, which President Robert Mugabe's government at the time labelled a "terrorist attack."
Shiri was in charge of the notorious North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade of the Zimbabwe army held responsible for the bulk of the massacres of an estimated 20,000 civilians during a low-level insurgency in the western provinces of Matabeleland between 1983 and 1987.
Last month, three opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) officials were arrested for allegedly threatening to kill the police officers investigating the incident.
The MDC immediately denied any involvement and accused President Mugabe's government of looking for an excuse to declare a state of emergency.
Several MDC members and human rights activists have been arrested in Zimbabwe since October, most of them accused of plotting to topple Mugabe. Some of the prisoners said they were tortured into signing confessions.
The MDC has demanded that all the prisoners be released before joining Mugabe's Zanu-PF in a unity government by February 13.