Former VP Mphoko in court
Former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday appeared at Harare magistrate’s court on routine remand after his abuse of office matter was referred from Bulawayo.
Mphoko appeared before regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya and was deferred to October 4 for a provision of a trial date by the State.
Representing the State, George Manokore made an application for postponement on the basis that Mphoko’s lawyer Zibusiso Ncube had raised issues of ‘territorial jurisdiction’ and as such, the State required more time to iron out the issues.
In response, Ncube conceded to the application and also added that he hadn’t been furnished with the State papers to prepare the former Vice President’s defence.
“We have the issues of territorial jurisdiction to have this matter tried in Bulawayo and not here in Harare, but most importantly, we don’t have the State’s papers to prepare for trial, the docket is with the Prosecutor General and he hasn’t made a decision on the territorial jurisdiction issue which we intend to agree on, if we fail to reach a common ground, we will approach th court with a formal application,” said Ncube.
Mphoko is accused of ordering the illegal release of two ZINARA top officials Davison Norupiri and Juma who had been arrested over corruption allegations at Avondale Police Station in 2016 and were waiting to appear in court the next day.
The State further alleges that on the same day at around 6pm, Mphoko, who was at the time the Acting President, stormed the police station and criminally abused his duty as a public officer by ordering the immediate release of Juma and Norupiri from lawful police custody.
The Officer-in-Charge stood his ground challenging the unlawful instruction before he later complied with Mphoko’s order under duress and released the two men.
Mphoko drove away with them in his car.
When ZACC officials went to Avondale Police Station on the following day intending to take Juma and Norupiri to court, they discovered that police had released them acting on Mphoko’s orders.
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