HARARE – Former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko was charged on Wednesday with criminal abuse of office, in the latest move by the reconstituted anti-corruption commission.
Bulawayo magistrate-in-charge Enias Magate freed Mphoko on ZW$3,000 bail and remanded him to September 4. He denies all the charges, his lawyer Zibusiso Ncube said.
The 79-year-old lost his vice-presidential post when a military coup forced former President Robert Mugabe to resign in 2017 after 37 years in power and led to presidential elections controversially won by Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had served with Mphoko as a dual vice president.
Mphoko is accused of using his position to force police to release from their custody two officials from the roads agency, ZINARA, who were facing corruption charges in 2016. The ex-vice president also faces a lesser charge of obstructing justice over the release of Davison Norupiri and Moses Juma, the two former ZINARA executives.
Thompson Hove, for the prosecution, said Mphoko went to Avondale Police Station after the pair had been arrested on July 12, 2016, arriving shortly after 6PM.
“Mphoko, who was at the time the Acting President, stormed the police station and ordered the immediate release of Juma and Norupiri from lawful police custody. The officer-in-charge complied with Mphoko’s order and released the two men before Mphoko drove away with them in his car,” the prosecutor said.
The prosecution maintains that Mphoko’s actions were inconsistent with his duties as a public officer.
Mphoko must report to a police station every Friday and surrender his passport as part of his bail conditions.
Source: Zim Live